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stupid and offensive.
July 5, 2006 4:51 AM   Subscribe

The new Sony PSP adverts are stupid and offensive. Welcome to yet another chapter in sony's self inflicted annus horribilis. (More: 1, 2)
posted by seanyboy (109 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Yawn
posted by elpapacito at 4:55 AM on July 5, 2006


I'm ashamed for Sony and its ad agency, not because this ad is so offensive (which it is), but because it's so transparent. Pissing people off with a stupid, offensive advertisement, thus forcing them to talk about it and name the product in the process, is the oldest trick in the book. You would think that they would know that we know that by now. But you know what? It's probably going to work. People will bitch, the ads will be pulled, the name of the PSP will become just that tiny bit more cemented in the public consciousness, everybody will forget about the actual ads that sparked the complaints in the first place, and Sony will add another notch in its belt.

Bleah.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:59 AM on July 5, 2006


Didn't buy a PSP.
Won't buy a PS3.

And if it wasn't for the single-console glory that is Katamari, I wouldn't even consider buying a PS2.

My question is ... and yeah, if I took the time I'm sure I could find out on my own ... are all of Sony's ad ideas coming through the same advertising agency? This one, the graffiti-for-hire, the smack-talking animals?
posted by grabbingsand at 5:03 AM on July 5, 2006


Do we have to guess why you think they are stupid and offensive or would you like to share with the whole class? They don't read as offensive to me. Striking, ladden with sexual overtone and intriguing yes, offensive, no.
posted by haqspan at 5:07 AM on July 5, 2006


Erm... stupid and offensive how?
posted by twine42 at 5:09 AM on July 5, 2006


I see they're biting Nintendo's (who bit Apple's) style. Bad adverts to be sure. I call pseudo controversy though.
posted by furtive at 5:14 AM on July 5, 2006


Hard to believe what insignificant things people are offended by these days.
posted by lifeless at 5:17 AM on July 5, 2006


The caption reads "White is coming," and the illustration appears to be a white woman assaulting a black woman. I'm not the most observant person in the world, and I like to give people the benefit of the doubt in most situations, but this seems pretty blatant even to me.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:17 AM on July 5, 2006


And if it wasn't for the single-console glory that is Katamari, I wouldn't even consider buying a PS2.

Agreed.


Also, seanyboy, tell us how you really feel.
posted by nuclear_soup at 5:17 AM on July 5, 2006


Racist...sexist...and clueless. Way to go SONY. You've hit the trifecta.
posted by bim at 5:18 AM on July 5, 2006


Funnily enough, I just got back from the shop with my new white PSP. Oh god, I'm funding the Klan.

It's a shame Sony feel a need to engage in such dumb shock tactics - after a distinctly shaky start for the thing, there's a fantastic range of games out now (although I understand America isn't getting the pure condensed joy of Loco Roco for a while yet). This attention-grabbing at all costs looks like desperation to me, and - complete failure of the UMD movie format aside - I'm not sure they've any reason to be desperate about the PSP yet. It seems as if the attention they get from this really isn't going to be worth every media outlet and anti-racism group quite rightly hitting them for (ahem) MASSIVE DAMAGE about it.
posted by terpsichoria at 5:18 AM on July 5, 2006


Posts that blatantly editorialize are stupid and offensive.
posted by languagehat at 5:23 AM on July 5, 2006


Has this ad been used in North America, or is it just a European market thing?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:25 AM on July 5, 2006


I don't see the offensiveness, personally. I can see how somebody could theoretically be offended by it ("It's a black person, and a white person! And they're rivals! OMG!") but I don't see it
posted by antifuse at 5:29 AM on July 5, 2006


KirkJobSluder - yeah, as far as I know it's not even a Europe-wide thing, but specifically a Dutch one. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe are and have always been complete fuckheads, so I wouldn't be surprised if this was something they'd cooked up on their own.
posted by terpsichoria at 5:33 AM on July 5, 2006


Posts that blatantly editorialize are stupid and offensive.

So are you saying that the ads are not stupid and offensive?

In all seriousness, I understand where the above is coming from, but for gosh sakes, choose your battles.
posted by Atreides at 5:40 AM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Antifuse, its not just that you have a black person and white person going at it together, but for most of the images, the white person is attacking/superior position to the white person. Which, for many, strikes on a chord that runs about four hundred some years plus. They're also identifying colors with the race of people. Would it be all right if Sony came out with a Yellow PSP, then had an Asian person facing off with a white person?
posted by Atreides at 5:43 AM on July 5, 2006


Let's see, you've several pictures of some white woman grabbing a black woman by the face like she's a child or subject or whatever being reprimanded. Nice. How about a pseudo lynching scenario too?

Of yeah, they toss in one pic of the the women rolling around on the ground with the black woman on top...just so nobody thinks they're racist...or sexist (mud wrestling anyone)? Oh no, nothing wrong with that. :rolls eyes:

Sadly, if you're a white dude who doesn't see any problem, well then you're part of the problem.
posted by bim at 5:45 AM on July 5, 2006


So are you saying that the ads are not stupid and offensive?

All ads are stupid and offensive to me. That's not the point. The point is that posters should be presenting stuff they found on the internet and letting us make up our own minds. So far, three people in this thread have said they don't find the ads offensive, so if you're going for some sort of "It's so obvious he had to say it" thing, you're off base. And as for choosing my battles, you seem to be implying this kind of crass editorializing is so common I should pick a more significant example. I don't think it is, and I don't want it to spread.
posted by languagehat at 5:47 AM on July 5, 2006


Interesting strategy: Viral marketing via outrage.
posted by Plutor at 5:48 AM on July 5, 2006


Would it have been less "racist" if they had a black woman dressed in white and a white woman dressed in black and the roles reversed?
posted by effwerd at 5:49 AM on July 5, 2006


Sony just can't do anything right these days.
posted by clevershark at 5:54 AM on July 5, 2006


How do I feel.
With my hands.

Posts that blatantly editorialize are stupid and offensive.
Get off your high horse, and carefully post that comment into every "blatently editorializing" post you see. Did that take a long time? I thought so.

I guess you think I should clevery or subtly editorialize. Because Me and My intellectual liberal friends could snigger about that afterwards. Make some obscure reference to an 18th century piece of writing. So, you know, "the clever ones" will get it, but the stupid ones will just make themselves look sillier.

Nah.

This once, I'm calling it like I see it. Because really - it's stupid and offensive. I see no point in taking a balanced view.

Yawn
Fuck you too.
posted by seanyboy at 5:56 AM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


This isn't racist at all -- in fact projecting that notion onto it is the true racist act.
posted by catchmurray at 6:00 AM on July 5, 2006


Who wants popcorn?
posted by wheelieman at 6:04 AM on July 5, 2006


Languagehat...

- The point is that posters should be ... letting us make up our own minds.
- So far, three people in this thread have said they don't find the ads offensive

I see that even you don't believe my obvious "Stop people from making their own minds up" policy is working, so your argument is moot.

you seem to be implying this kind of crass editorializing is so common
Is it the crassness or the editorializing you dislike the most. Are you a snob or a hypocrite?
posted by seanyboy at 6:04 AM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Because Me and My intellectual liberal friends could snigger about that afterwards.

These ads are as racist as you are for daring to place the letters N-I-G-G-E-R in such proximity in your comment.

I'll concede that placing two models of differing races in adversarial postures strikes a chord, but racist? I don't think so. And likening the ads to displaying pictures of lynchings is pure histrionics.

I guess I'm part of the problem.
posted by quite unimportant at 6:10 AM on July 5, 2006


The caption reads "White is coming," and the illustration appears to be a white woman assaulting a black woman.

Says you. It looks to me like they're about to have sex. Seriously. I don't even mean that from a theoretical "Well, I guess if you squint right, and think about it in a certain way, then maaaaaybe they're about to ravage each other" viewpoint, I mean more like "When I look at those people, even though I'm not turned on by the imagery, I imagine those two people are about to have sex" kind of way. Especially since the word "coming" is in there.

I do not think these ads are offensive.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:11 AM on July 5, 2006


What's the big deal about having a PSP covered with white plastic instead of black plastic? If this is Sony's idea of innovation, then the electronics giant can be said without fear of contradiction to have jumped the shark some time ago.
posted by clevershark at 6:13 AM on July 5, 2006


The PSP has crap battery life and no good games beyond Lumines. That's the real tragedy here.
posted by chunking express at 6:16 AM on July 5, 2006


For something completely different : I notice I am offended by the the fact the girls while hot aren't properly naked. That's distasteful.
posted by elpapacito at 6:18 AM on July 5, 2006


Says bim: 'Sadly, if you're a white dude who doesn't see any problem, well then you're part of the problem.'

On the contrary, they might just not ever think about race as an issue, in which case surely they're not part of the problem.
posted by edd at 6:23 AM on July 5, 2006


As an image, and within the advert's context of "white vs black", I do find it almost painful to look at. I find it that offensive. Maybe that's just me. I do sometimes get the feeling that "what is offensive" has changed in the last 10 years. I can't say if things have changed for the better or worse, or if things have changed because the situation is better or worse.

But they've changed.
posted by seanyboy at 6:28 AM on July 5, 2006


Coming soon from Sony: The PSP Yellow, better at math operations and running gambling related video games.

See, now that is racist.
posted by dobie at 6:28 AM on July 5, 2006


And as for choosing my battles, you seem to be implying this kind of crass editorializing is so common I should pick a more significant example.

Well, no. I imply that I see you often making crass comments about other people's editorializing. The result, rather than be informative (and disregard adding anything to the conversation), is disruptive in itself. The fact that people can post and state their objections to the post's own stated position is in itself enough of a sign that perhaps said position of the post was not entirely suiting to the topic or mainstream and offers the contradictory opinion, rather than simply making a snarky post.

As a return to thread,

Is the lack of as significant Civil Rights and racism between blacks and whites in Europe one reason such an ad campaign would be launched in Holland? I would expect many African Americans to see the ad and find it quite offensive.
posted by Atreides at 6:30 AM on July 5, 2006


[this ad] strikes on a chord that runs about four hundred some years plus.

While this may be true in America, this is an ad by an Amsterdam-based advertising company targeted for an Amsterdam audience. The Dutch do have a history with slavery, but not so much with segregration. Consequentially, there is little public debate about exploitation of blacks. I doubt that any Dutchman thinks this ad exploits racial tensions.
posted by Psychnic at 6:31 AM on July 5, 2006


I Am Furious (White).
posted by interrobang at 6:34 AM on July 5, 2006


I'm much more offended by the new Cuervo Black and Coke ads.
posted by Peter H at 6:35 AM on July 5, 2006


I suppose it's better than Cuervo Black and Crack - but I still see, advertisers! I see!
posted by Peter H at 6:38 AM on July 5, 2006


clevershark,

You'd be surprised how many are interested in different colored handhelds. PSP fans are clamoring for this.
posted by lyam at 6:39 AM on July 5, 2006


Finally.. Psychnic restored my faith in mefites ability to actually rtfa. I was beginning to wonder about you people. There's no way in hell Sony would've put up an ad campaign like this in the US.

....However, they're still kinda dumb for apparently not realizing how many people hate them and considering how quickly something like this would spread on the bigbadinterweb.
posted by ryran at 6:40 AM on July 5, 2006


Also, on topic..

There are more than one ad. One shows the black woman dominating the white one. OH NOES, reverse racism!
posted by lyam at 6:41 AM on July 5, 2006


Is this ad being launched in America or Just Amsterdam?

Europe != America

get over it.
posted by twistedonion at 6:41 AM on July 5, 2006


own up, seanyboy, how much did Sony pay you to post this here and get everyone talking about it? Wait... what? You did it for free??? Man, Barnum was right.
posted by jonson at 6:42 AM on July 5, 2006


Finally.. Psychnic restored my faith in mefites ability to actually rtfa

Playstation portable white is coming?
posted by Peter H at 6:44 AM on July 5, 2006


'Sadly, if you're a white dude who doesn't see any problem, well then you're part of the problem.'

So only if you're white, then? What if your a black dude (or a black woman even!) who doesn't see any problem.
posted by Stauf at 6:44 AM on July 5, 2006


ah, 'a' for article, I thought you meant read the fucking ad.
posted by Peter H at 6:44 AM on July 5, 2006


I find the ads ambiguous. They could be read as agressive, the white woman controlling the black woman - but in context with the rest of the campaign (especially the image with the black woman agressively on top of the white woman), the images look more sexual and both women as powerful figures struggling against each other.

Racist? I doubt it. Certainly not colour blind, but they don't look to degrade either party. That doesn't mean they were a very poor advertising choice - the offence they have created here shows that.
posted by jb at 6:45 AM on July 5, 2006


Sorry - "that doesn't mean they weren't a very poor advertising choice".
posted by jb at 6:45 AM on July 5, 2006


Would the ad still be racist if it was Annie Lennox and Miles Davis in the same roles?
posted by Peter H at 6:47 AM on July 5, 2006


You think that's offensive. Pfft. Here in Chile we have this little cookie-snack thing called Negrita (Feminine diminutive of "black", hence, 'black girl'), which for years had a tv-commercial with an obviously white chick in (really bad) blackface.
That was offensive.
This? Nah.
posted by signal at 6:47 AM on July 5, 2006


I find it more offensive that Sony expects me to pay $300 for that POS when they intend to render it obsolete in a year or two.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:47 AM on July 5, 2006


Stupid I'll give you, although more for advertising a color change then for the actual ad.

But offensive? How so? I suppose if you were continually worried about 'white power' or some such it might be. If the white chick was skin head, maybe, or was otherwise representative of some racist ideal, but I don't see anything here like that.

The urge to constantly 'protect' and mother a subgroup can also be racist, as it is patronizing and assumes a lesser role for the group.

OK, here you go: 2 naked men, both white just so no one calls racism or sexism, one with painted white body stripes, one with black, both wrestling. No, that is probably exploitive of gay culture or something. Ok, lets try .... never mind.
posted by Bovine Love at 6:50 AM on July 5, 2006


...they're still kinda dumb for apparently not realizing how many people hate them and considering how quickly something like this would spread on the bigbadinterweb.

Right, because the last thing an advertiser wants is people talking about, linking to and otherwise distributing their ads for free.
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
posted by signal at 6:51 AM on July 5, 2006


Advertisements are offensive enough just for existing.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:56 AM on July 5, 2006


On the contrary, they might just not ever think about race as an issue, in which case surely they're not part of the problem.

Well, without going into the particulars of these adverts, it's pretty easy not to think about race as an issue if your race is getting the breaks. "I'm so non-racist I don't even notice that I can walk through expensive parts of Bevery Hills without being hassled by security guards whereas my was-he-black-I-didn't-notice chum over there seems to be having more trouble" is not necessarily a perfect position.

On the adverts - they seem, as much as anything else, really very 80s. The black/white case = black/white person thing is pretty inept to start with - because it treats skin colour as a design feature - but the absurd frosted mullet? The sub-Helmut Newton lesbianism? Ugly, ugly, ugly.
posted by tannhauser at 6:58 AM on July 5, 2006


considering their obscene pricing decisions, one would expect Sony to at least give us ads with higher production values
posted by matteo at 6:59 AM on July 5, 2006


Oh, wait, these are Dutch ads? I'm even LESS offended. The Dutch just seem to be oblivious to these kinds of things. Look at the "helpers" that their Sinterklaas has. I was shocked when I was in Amsterdam for the Sinterklaas Parade and saw all the pieten dancing around, but nobody else even blinked.

I Am Furious (White)

I totally want this as the name for my band.
posted by antifuse at 6:59 AM on July 5, 2006


Oh, man! When the Blue DSLite hits the US, the Smurfs are going to be pissed.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:59 AM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


tannhauser: Indeed, although I think that's a very different problem from racism itself, and one probably more easily corrected.
posted by edd at 7:04 AM on July 5, 2006


This reminds me of the episode of South Park where Chef wants to change the city flag and the children debate over it.

Chef sees a black man getting lynched, whereas the children are colorblind and just see another person getting lynched.

I think this ad is as offensive as you make it.

If anything, as a white man I am offended that my representation has such an atrocious hairstyle.
posted by motherfather at 7:06 AM on July 5, 2006


Why is Aimee Mann so angry in those ads?
posted by NationalKato at 7:07 AM on July 5, 2006



Sadly, if you're a white dude who doesn't see any problem, well then you're part of the problem.


Wow, that is amazing. What if you are a black guy who doesn't see a problem?

Over sensitive anyone?

The fact that people are getting their panties in a bunch is proof positive that the advertisement worked.
posted by a3matrix at 7:08 AM on July 5, 2006


Hey Sony, root-kit this.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:08 AM on July 5, 2006


If anything, as a white man I am offended that my representation has such an atrocious hairstyle.


hahahahaha Good one !
posted by a3matrix at 7:08 AM on July 5, 2006


whoa, samantha fox is still hot!
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 7:10 AM on July 5, 2006


The thing that's offensive about these ads is that some ad agency would think biting on Patrick Nagel would be a good idea.
posted by Nelson at 7:13 AM on July 5, 2006


first it was the commisioned graffiti. now, this? they obviously do not want to sell these things.
posted by Doorstop at 7:32 AM on July 5, 2006


metafilter:Viral marketing via outrage.
posted by nola at 7:43 AM on July 5, 2006


Not a single Xeni comment?

slackers!
posted by rachelpapers at 7:43 AM on July 5, 2006


Metafilter: Stupid and Offensive.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
posted by drleary at 7:48 AM on July 5, 2006


seanyboy writes "This once, I'm calling it like I see it. Because really - it's stupid and offensive. I see no point in taking a balanced view."

You don't have to have a balanced view. The whole objection to your posting text is that you are foisting your unbalanced view onto the rest of us. And I don't need to go into every thread and challenge the poster to justify agreeing (and voicing the opinion) that this particular post - your post - should have been written differently. What?! You need examples of how it could easily have been better presented? See, I don't believe you do seanyboy. I think you just let your emotive reaction to this ad get the better of you when it came to drafting the post.

Present the material, summarize if needs be, report that there is controversy or the somesuch. Then the rest of us can take it in and respond to the material and not to your quasi-challenge (which you of course note takes up a substantial portion of the comments in this thread).


On topic - ya know, I have trouble forming an opinion because I didn't get to see these ads without them being presented and framed with outrage (here and at the 2 secondary links). I feel that I'm being led down an attitudinal path and I find that a bit confusing or perplexing. That's because I don't actually know what the white playstation is. Just the new model in white rather than black is it? I'm assuming so.

In which case, if I attempt to shrug off the yammerings in which it's been framed I guess I don't really have much of a reaction. It's simply minor league punked up soft pornesque adfodder. I don't see inherent racism in the shots. It's just contrast, playing with competetive, sexually tinged and lightly menacing imagery. It's 2 chicks. Chicks dilute the dominational tropes of traditional racism for mine. The final shot is the evidence I would present in support of the notion that it's about competition and that the colour of the models is secondary to the product specs.

Meh.
posted by peacay at 7:53 AM on July 5, 2006


Every time I'm almost convinced to buy a PSP, Sony effectively talks me out of it.
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:13 AM on July 5, 2006


I think they came up with the whole black vs white thing as a way to make the console launch seem remotely interesting, immediately realized that people would see racial overtones in these ads, and then decided to go with the whole "80's camp" style so that people wouldn't take them too seriously. And honestly, I can't get offended by these posters, they're just too silly.
posted by teleskiving at 8:29 AM on July 5, 2006


Metafilter: Why is Aimee Mann so angry?

Sorry.
posted by tannhauser at 8:33 AM on July 5, 2006


Eh. It's the ad agency taking a pretty obvious "durr we're gonna have a white PSP and we already have a black one." It's not racist, it's BORING.
posted by beerbajay at 8:52 AM on July 5, 2006


because it treats skin colour as a design feature

Isn't that the exact opposite of racism?
posted by cillit bang at 8:58 AM on July 5, 2006


I don't see it as offensive. Poorly executed as a concept, but not racist.
posted by MvE at 8:59 AM on July 5, 2006


I suspect that the exact opposite of racism is something along the lines of "a state in which everybody is treating people as equals within a set of social and economic structures which themselves allow people of different races to enjoy the same status and opportunities". Treating skin colour as a design feature is the exact opposite of not treating skin colour as a design feature.

However, I don't think I mentioned racism in my post with regard to these advertisements. Could you show me on the doll where I did? or have I misunderstood you?
posted by tannhauser at 9:02 AM on July 5, 2006


Were I incharge, I would have spent the handful of Sony Pocket Change in order to get the Spy vs Spy license and run with that. Start with a bunch of ads consisting of the Black Spy hiding out nervously in a safe place with the caption 'White Is Coming'. Then introduce the White Spy in a later series of ads bonking/blowing up/maiming the Black Spy.

And then later on when we drop the price of the original PSP, we could have a slew of ads called 'Black's Revenge' where the White Spy gets bonked/nuked/maimed.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:05 AM on July 5, 2006




Reminds me of an ad campaign I saw this spring in Helsinki.

Anyway, what's the big deal? So what if its a black person and a white person and all that omg? Maybe they just wanted to personify the colour options and it made sense to pick people that matched the colours? I don't necessarily see it as offensive, it's just that the white/black thing has been such a sore spot in U.S. history.

The above ad for instance raised no eyebrows in Finland, 'cause no one even thought to relate it to 'white power', and so on. As for me being from the U.S. though, sure it was humorous, but the intent of the advertising slogan really isn't to stir things up. Likely that that's the case for Sony too.

PS: Whoops, code got screwed up in that first one, and looked fine in the quick preview. Hopefully flagging it gets rid of it.
posted by taursir at 9:05 AM on July 5, 2006


Robocop is bleeding: I like your thinking, but surely the spokesmodels that this campaign is cryiing out for are Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes? Stylish, retro and, best of all, not an inch of exposed skin.
posted by tannhauser at 9:24 AM on July 5, 2006


I think the ads are poorly done, but I also object to the idea that mentioning race or using contrast between skin colors makes it racist. If you're black and I'm white then it's not racist to say " You're black and I'm white" but it is racist to say "I'm better than you BECAUSE you're black and I'm white." Racism is just so stupid, I marvel that it ever was ever thought to be a valid excuse for ANYTHING.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:26 AM on July 5, 2006


Ooh look! Two people of different racist!!

*yawn*
posted by Kloryne at 9:39 AM on July 5, 2006


It's not racist because of some intended message (white beats black, etc.). In fact it may not even be racist in itself. But it is offensive because it's taking the jolt that we all get from seeing people of different races, labeled as such, assaulting each other and using it for no good purpose -- except to say "made you look."

I'll defer to Robert Christgau, writing way-back-when about the Violent Femmes: "Though 'Black Girls' may not be racist...it takes a great deal of petulant delight in daring you to call it a name. Then again, maybe it is racist."
posted by argybarg at 9:39 AM on July 5, 2006


um *raCES*
posted by Kloryne at 9:39 AM on July 5, 2006


Can they reshoot the ads with Jack Black and Jack White?
posted by 23skidoo at 9:42 AM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


23skidoo wins.
posted by eustacescrubb at 9:56 AM on July 5, 2006


But it is offensive because it's taking the jolt that we all get from seeing people of different races, labeled as such, assaulting each other and using it for no good purpose -- except to say "made you look."

Yes, they'd better stop using any sort of eye-grabbing imagery in advertisements.
posted by taursir at 10:08 AM on July 5, 2006


Which is, of course, exactly what was being said.

Gosh, this dismissive one-liner thing is awfully fun, isn't it?
posted by tannhauser at 10:34 AM on July 5, 2006


If you all would like a refresher on the basic tenets of anti-racism and anti-racist activism, you may wish to fire up your browsers and check out WhitePrivilege.com, specifically its page about definitions of white privilege.

If you like LiveJournal, there are a number of related communities. I participate in debunkingwhite there, which was originally formed with respect to a goal of debunking white supremacy.

I'm in agreement, personally, with most of the assertions in the debunkingwhite community info page, and on whiteprivilege.com.

Many of them have to do with dynamics of having power and using it ethically, whether or not one originally asked for that power, as well as other more complex matters than simple skin tone, economic, ethnic or appearance-based privilege and other almost binary systems.

I find it all very juicy and interesting reading and I find that participating in such communities makes me think and be very intentional about living and speaking/writing. Maybe some of you will find it equally as helpful.
posted by kalessin at 10:40 AM on July 5, 2006


Sorry. The Debunkingwhite link should be: http://community.livejournal.com/debunkingwhite/ and the community info page link should be: http://community.livejournal.com/debunkingwhite/profile.
posted by kalessin at 10:42 AM on July 5, 2006


Yes, they'd better stop using any sort of eye-grabbing imagery in advertisements.

This is the best reading you can come up with? Please try harder, or at all, or don't bother.

Just for the record, a mutilated burn victim with the words "too hot to handle" would certainly be "eye-grabbing," wouldn't it? Would you counter any objections to that ad with this same non-thought you just offered? No doubt about 1/4 of the crowd here would show up just to let us know how incredibly bored ("yawn") they were by everyone's outrage.
posted by argybarg at 11:01 AM on July 5, 2006


>>Would the ad still be racist if it was Annie Lennox and Miles Davis in the same roles?

Since Miles Davis is now mouldering in his grave, I think an ad of that sort would have a lot to answer for.



Sony will try it next, for sure.
posted by SaintCynr at 11:30 AM on July 5, 2006


I'm really trying to be offended, since so many people are obviously so upset by this set of images, but what I see are three images that are part of an ad campaign: one in which white is dominant, one in which white and black appear to be equals, and one in which black is dominant. So I'm finding myself not all that offended.

After having spent part of my morning arguing with people about the usefulness of ESL classes for immgrants during which the words "brown people" and "wetbacks" was used repeatedly by my opposition, I find there is so much actual harmful racism out there, it seems disgusting expend so much energy being offended by an ad campaign that doesn't really seem terribly racist at all.
posted by Orb at 12:19 PM on July 5, 2006


In Atlanta, offensive. In Amsterdam, no. Context, context, context.
posted by geoff. at 12:34 PM on July 5, 2006


Erm... stupid and offensive how?
posted by twine42 at 8:09 AM EST on July 5 [+fave] [!]


well, considering that the ceramic white model's been available for a while already online, advertising it now is kind of stupid.
Personal skins for the PSP have been sold for over a year (voids warranty).

And if it wasn't for the single-console glory that is Katamari, I wouldn't even consider buying a PS2.


I jumped through many hoops to get Katamari run on my 1.5 firmware. Bought 3 versions before it worked.
Actually, it was the mod community that made it finally possible for me to play a game I'd paid for without abandoning the homebrew available to earlier versions.

And maybe the ads telling that story. Immediately after release, people started coding for the PSP, as it was a powerful device. (Black PSP)
Sony never approved of it, and took the course of constantly pushing out newer firmwares to make the 3rd party apps not work. Some upgrades added functionality. (White PSP)

but while Sony appeared to be in control, dev hook delivered a powerful blow for the 3rd party contributors, combined with shown in the last frame.
This could represent the downgrader from current firmware's to 1.5.

sorry for the nerdy interpretation.
offensive or not, these ads will do nothing to salve SONY's wounds.

and as far as international interpretation goes, geoff. nailed it.
posted by Busithoth at 12:40 PM on July 5, 2006


Squirrel, please.
posted by First Post at 12:41 PM on July 5, 2006


The two look like they're about to have angry sex or something.
posted by Paris Hilton at 12:50 PM on July 5, 2006


Just for the record, a mutilated burn victim with the words "too hot to handle" would certainly be "eye-grabbing," wouldn't it?

Wasn't that a Benetton ad?

In fact, this isn't much different than an old Benetton ad.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:01 PM on July 5, 2006


The two look like they're about to have angry sex or something.

Now that would be a compelling ad.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:02 PM on July 5, 2006


Oh yeah. It's just like Sinterklaas. Right.

Come on this is nothing. Neither in the 'lands nor in the 'states.
posted by jouke at 1:12 PM on July 5, 2006


The inflamed OMG RACISM reactions are really quite annoying. Not everything about racially different people conflicting is about racism.
posted by saturnine at 3:07 PM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


I see no capital letters so far spelling RACISM. There is an OMG, along with an OH NOES, a BORING, and a fair few PSPs. Perhaps you are reading a different thread, or perhaps my eyesight is not as good as it was.

I'm unsure about these adverts, personally. I would be interested to know on what grounds people have decided that they are/are not racist. Did you seek the opinions of others? Have a look around race relations in the Netherlands (not quite as rosy as one might at first imagine). Ask black/white friends (delete as applicable) for their reactions? I'm assuming there's more to the process than imagining capital letters, yes?
posted by tannhauser at 3:55 PM on July 5, 2006


How about a show of hands? Not that I don't enjoy mefi, but I bet mefi is mostly white dudes -- including posters to this thread.

Nothing personal guys, but a lot of y'all may not have much incentive to notice racism or sexism. Oh noes... it must be a figment of somebody's imagination...I don't see anything.

And I note that no one even addresses the sexist aspect of this ad campaign. Maybe SONY knows their customers quite well. ;)

Thanks for the interesting post, Sean. And thanks for labeling things what they are. Some folks seem to think that a post should always be something like : Holocaust. Pro or con? Jeezus.
posted by bim at 4:29 PM on July 5, 2006


There seems to be a lot of it about, at least - here, at 1up, an aesthetic affinity betwen the bad guys of LocoRoco and the (originally Dutch, if I recall correctly) Golliwog is commented on.

I'm interested by the difference between the take-out of the article - that, regardless of whether this is coincidence, it is likely to cause problems in the US and other markets and an alteration may be in order so that the author can fully enjoy the game - and the comments, which appear in many places to address an entirely different article, in which the game designers were accused of overt racism and a campaign was begun to ban the game outright. There's further comment here, which is a little calmer, but still has some interesting comments.

I followed some other links off, which seemed to make a surprising amount of mention of fried chicken and watermelons in their campaign to decry what they perceived as oversensitivity to race issues in computer games. That's not Sony's fault, however.
posted by tannhauser at 5:24 PM on July 5, 2006


Stupid, certainly. Very few ads aren't. But offensive? Only in its utter vacuity.
posted by Decani at 5:41 PM on July 5, 2006


The people at Sony wanted an ad with attitude. It's edgy, it's "in your face". You've heard the expression "let's get busy"? Well, this ad gets "biz-zay"! Consistently and thoroughly.
posted by iviken at 2:36 AM on July 6, 2006


Those bastards killed Aibo.
posted by spazzm at 4:44 AM on July 6, 2006


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