sony tries counter culture to sell playstations - and gets beat down
December 8, 2005 8:02 AM   Subscribe

sony tries counter culture to sell playstations - and gets beat down
or was it all part of the plan?
posted by specialk420 (42 comments total)

 
yawn.
posted by tiamat at 8:06 AM on December 8, 2005


(Thanks Cory!)
posted by cillit bang at 8:08 AM on December 8, 2005


I'll ride a Brompton bicycle,
Or I'll teabag a mime
before I'll give the Sony Corp.
Another fucking dime.


That's the best thing I've read all day.
posted by OmieWise at 8:10 AM on December 8, 2005


Not surprising. Guerilla marketing is a tough act, too little and no one gets it, too much and people see right through it. But its alot cheaper than normal advertising. I wasn't aware the PSP was having trouble selling. Doesn't it do pretty much everything?
posted by fenriq at 8:12 AM on December 8, 2005


Ha ha!
posted by stinkycheese at 8:22 AM on December 8, 2005


so, um, what's so wrong with Bromptons?
posted by scruss at 8:24 AM on December 8, 2005


Microsoft did the same thing with its XBOX launch a few years back. I've also seen graffiti for a few clothing brands. Must work for moron consumers.
In a separate incident last year, Microsoft sprayed hundreds of green crosses on Sydney streets to promote the new Xbox gaming system.

South Sydney Council was up in arms and Microsoft subsequently took responsibility for the clean-up campaign, along with publicity and event management firm Spin Communications.

Meanwhile Melbourne’s City of Stonnington is spending up to $80,000 a year to address the issue of corporate graffiti.
posted by skallas at 8:32 AM on December 8, 2005


these appeared recently near my subway, but honestly, I never noticed they were PSP adverts until they got tagged with profanities against corporate whores. That brought it's message front and clear.

counter-counter culture?
posted by Busithoth at 8:35 AM on December 8, 2005


commentary at woostercollective (sorry, couldn't figure out the permalink)
posted by eddydamascene at 8:37 AM on December 8, 2005


I was puzzled about the stab at Tats Cru. They were involved in the East Coast sony campaign, at least, and this is not the first time they've drawn the ire of noncommercial writers.
posted by eddydamascene at 8:42 AM on December 8, 2005


I just love this description of Zeitgeist: "On a wall outside a beer garden in San Francisco's bohemian Mission District that caters to motorcyclists and bike messengers"
posted by shoepal at 8:51 AM on December 8, 2005


More coverups:
PiSP
Impeach King George's War
Stop Hawking Corporate Products

And Tats Cru in action
posted by eddydamascene at 8:51 AM on December 8, 2005


Oooh, the flickr graffadi pool has more, including other corporate street art campaigns
posted by eddydamascene at 8:58 AM on December 8, 2005


They've got it all wrong. This is actually a brilliantly conceived underground campaign to promote brompton bicycles.
posted by dvdgee at 9:02 AM on December 8, 2005


$100 for two week wall exposure?
You've got to be kidding me.
That's brilliant.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:08 AM on December 8, 2005


dvdgee... if only. :)
posted by specialk420 at 9:09 AM on December 8, 2005


What shoepal said. Plus:

"[Piers] Fawkes questioned whether the backlash was very widespread. 'I wonder if that's a San Francisco phenomenon,' Fawkes said. 'I know there's certain mindset there.'"

It would seem Piers has his own mindset.
posted by newscouch at 9:10 AM on December 8, 2005


Man, that lollipop one is just asking for an offensive remix, isn't it?
posted by mendel at 9:17 AM on December 8, 2005


The didn't spraypaint the walls so that people would look at the art and buy their products. They spraypainted the walls so that a random series of events would unfold after the fact that would likely lead to widespread viral distribution of the message. With 1,000 hits on Technorati and 1,500 on Google blog search, I'd say their campaign is working quite well. Oh, and don't forget the FPP on MetaFilter... someone agency is currently printing out this page, looking up the MetaFilter audience size, and increasing the reach numbers for this campaign.
posted by VulcanMike at 9:36 AM on December 8, 2005


I think this says more about the grafitti artists who took Sony's filthy lucre in exchange for their services than it does about Sony. Sony's a corporation, they'll do whatever they can to market. But what tagger or grafitti artist in his right mind would sell his street cred for this? You'd think the back lash in the tagger/grafitti community against anyone doing this would be great enough to deter. Which is why I think they probably hired an agency to do the actual 'grafitti'.
posted by spicynuts at 9:38 AM on December 8, 2005


someone "at an" agency
posted by VulcanMike at 9:38 AM on December 8, 2005


Who makes their buying decisions based on what they saw spraypainted on a wall?
posted by Jatayu das at 9:41 AM on December 8, 2005


But what tagger or grafitti artist in his right mind would sell his street cred for this?

The Tats Cru.
posted by eddydamascene at 9:45 AM on December 8, 2005


Once, I teabagged, but it was an accident.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:50 AM on December 8, 2005


VulcanMike nails it. That's how it works, folks. Thanks for playing.
posted by theinsectsarewaiting at 9:51 AM on December 8, 2005


The Tats Cru



(Nicer, Bio and BG183)

Seems these fellows built up a fair amount of respect, but seem to be losing it pretty quick with similar ads for coke & hummer
posted by MetaMonkey at 9:59 AM on December 8, 2005


"On a wall outside a beer garden in San Francisco's bohemian Mission District that caters to motorcyclists and bike messengers"

Ha. Wouldn't be good enough to say "local bar Zeitgeist" ... desperately needed some more characters to flush out a non-news story.

The campaign is lame, but no lamer than any other billboards. Sony paid for the space.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:09 AM on December 8, 2005


That lollipop one is just disturbing. Based on that I wouldn't let a PSP anywhere near my kid if it'll make him lick it and get those huge "stoney" eyes!
posted by fenriq at 10:16 AM on December 8, 2005


They spraypainted the walls so that a random series of events would unfold after the fact that would likely lead to widespread viral distribution of the message.

This formula was more effective when the source of anger was city governments, when the "negative press" was something that the target demographic would likely respond positively to. I doubt that this was pitched with the caveat that it would be rejected at the ground level by the campaign's target demographic, or that viral distribution would include critical comments about the company masking the brand.
posted by eddydamascene at 10:18 AM on December 8, 2005


I've seen these ads around SF, and I agree with VulcanMike, since images of ghostly, cracked-out children absently misusing their PSPs doesn't exactly scream "fun portable console".

This campaign, combined with their TV spots that depict folks playing with a PSP for a few seconds before throwing it to another person aptly summarize my feelings about the console (i.e. It's awkward, trendy, and doesn't entertain for long.)

On the other hand, the DS is awkward, unhip and loads of fun.
posted by Durhey at 10:19 AM on December 8, 2005


I wonder what other tactics have been used in guerilla marketing ads. Given how often some rappers reference brand names in their songs, it's pretty likely that some corp. has used that.
posted by clockworkjoe at 10:59 AM on December 8, 2005


It's like something from "Syrup" by Max Barry.
posted by drezdn at 11:13 AM on December 8, 2005


This isn't really anything new. IBM got dinged for doing something quite similar back in 2001.
posted by drstein at 11:16 AM on December 8, 2005


By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing... kill yourself.
No, no, no it's just a little thought. I'm just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day, they'll take root - I don't know. You try, you do what you can. Kill yourself. Seriously though, if you are, do. Aaah, no really, there's no rationalisation for what you do and you are Satan's little helpers, Okay - kill yourself - seriously. You are the ruiner of all things good, seriously. No this is not a joke, you're going, "there's going to be a joke coming," there's no fucking joke coming. You are Satan's spawn filling the world with bile and garbage. You are fucked and you are fucking us. Kill yourself. It's the only way to save your fucking soul, kill yourself.
Planting seeds. I know all the marketing people are going, "he's doing a joke... there's no joke here whatsoever. Suck a tail-pipe, fucking hang yourself, borrow a gun from a Yank friend - I don't care how you do it. Rid the world of your evil fucking machinations.
I know what all the marketing people are thinking right now too, "Oh, you know what Bill's doing, he's going for that anti-marketing dollar. That's a good market, he's very smart." Oh man, I am not doing that. You fucking evil scumbags! "Ooh, you know what Bill's doing now, he's going for the righteous indignation dollar. That's a big dollar. A lot of people are feeling that indignation. We've done research - huge market. He's doing a good thing."
Godammit, I'm not doing that, you scum-bags! Quit putting a godamm dollar sign on every fucking thing on this planet!
"Ooh, the anger dollar. Huge. Huge in times of recession. Giant market, Bill's very bright to do that." God, I'm just caught in a fucking web! "Ooh the trapped dollar, big dollar, huge dollar. Good market - look at our research. We see that many people feel trapped. If we play to that and then separate them into the trapped dollar..." How do you live like that? And I bet you sleep like fucking babies at night, don't you?"
-Bill Hicks

posted by anthill at 11:26 AM on December 8, 2005


Sony tried something very similar in the UK last year, but fell foul of laws designed to restrain unruly teenagers.
posted by lagavulin at 12:54 PM on December 8, 2005


Made me smile.
posted by VanRoosta at 12:59 PM on December 8, 2005


and here i was thinking that someone was making a supercool statement about the social state of our youth, only to find out its a marketing ploy.


...i am incredibly disappointed.
posted by Doorstop at 1:04 PM on December 8, 2005


thanks anthill, an ad-thread just isn't properly done wihout that Hicks quote, I was beginning to despair.
posted by dabitch at 1:49 PM on December 8, 2005


Is "urban nomads" the new marketing buzzword? I've been seeing it a lot the last 2-3 weeks, usually giving name to a phenomenon that is merely living in a city.
posted by infowar at 2:34 PM on December 8, 2005


This kind of marketing campaign will never work.

Anyone who would respond positively to a subversive art form is almost guaranteed to despise this sort of corporate creep.

Good luck with that, Sony.
posted by sellout at 5:29 PM on December 8, 2005


Sony sure seems to be playing all the wrong cards this year.
posted by clevershark at 5:38 PM on December 8, 2005


So - the pictures of the zombie children are real sony ads, and not a satirical spin-off designed to show how the kids are ruled by the devices?
posted by odinsdream at 6:55 AM on December 28, 2005


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