×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Sony Behind Fake YouTube Viral Campaign

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the you-are-not-'street'-sony dept.

Sony 284

Wowzer writes "Sony is up to the same old tricks again. Following in the footsteps of their fake PSP Graffiti campaign, Sony has hired marketing company Zipatoni to set up a YouTube-based viral marketing scheme for the Sony PSP. The company did this by registering the domain alliwantforxmasisapsp. There are no disclaimers to show it isn't 'real', but the website's whois points out it's setup by Zipatoni." From the C&VG article: "The lies don't end there, fake comments have been posted at Kotaku only linking to the Youtube video to increase its pageviews: 'Good call on DJ max. Regarding music: if changes were to be made for westerners, this guy should be considered - LOLZ'" Update: 12/13 02:37 GMT by Z : The Washington Post has an article stating that the FTC will look into situations like this, if they perchance to come up.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

284 comments

It's called Marketing (2, Insightful)

nephillim (980798) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207228)

... it is not lying... it is, and has been for many years called marketing.
the beer commercial shows you that when you open up one of their beers you get 20 naked women to show up at your party, but the "other" beer brings balding middle aged men.
This is no different from any other commercial on any other form of media.
Hell, Some drug ads never say what they do (so they don't have to give side effects) similar to Sony not saying this is an ad.

Re:It's called Marketing (4, Insightful)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207414)

If Nintendo or Apple did this, it would be called genius. Instead, it's a total marketing scam because it was done by Sony, who most likely just paid the company to market it and said you guys are the smart ones, you figure out the campaign. This article smacks of teenage journalism, completely down to the Liar, Liar DVD cover. Are these guys just realizing now that marketing companies play dirty to get you to buy their product? Welcome to reality, children.

I'm also a little confused as to how the comment on Kokatu was linked directly to this marketing company. The commenter is mrjohnstamos who has no linking information whatsoever and only one comment. Suspicious, but nowhere near the proof that the evil hand of Sony is behind this.

Can we get some real news now?

Re:It's called Marketing (4, Insightful)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207708)

The problem isn't that Sony paid for cheap-tactics marketing, it's that the attempt is so thinly veiled. Have you even looked at the site yet? It is so obviously created by a marketing firm that is pretending to be an authentic teenager. I don't know about anyone else but if I'm going to have someone lying to my face I'd rather they actually make it believable.

Re:It's called Marketing (1, Insightful)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207874)

I don't know about anyone else but if I'm going to have someone lying to my face I'd rather they actually make it believable.

So alliwantforxmasisapsp.com [alliwantfo...isapsp.com] isn't obvious enough for you? How about the following quote from said website:

consider us your own personal psp hype machine, here to help you wage a holiday assault on ur parents, girl, granny, boss - whoever - so they know what you really want.

Nope, I guess that's definitely a hormone raging teenager who really really wants a PSP. The scary thing is that statement resembles many fanboy comments on slashdot, but that's all I'm going to say about that.

Re:It's called Marketing (2, Funny)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208354)

He was moaning that it was *too* obvious, not that it wasn't obvious enough. Perversely, he seems to want to be taken in when people lie to him...

Re:It's called Marketing (4, Insightful)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209342)

I've always wondered how many of those "fanboys" are 22 year old peons at a marketing firm designed to start "internet hype."

Seriously, for about $50,000 you could pay a small army of net nerds to hype your product for a few weeks and get more exposure to clients than spending that money on a national TV spot. You think marketing companies don't know this? They've been astroturfing internet forums for years, and they've gotten really good at not looking like astroturfing.

Re:It's called Marketing (2, Funny)

hexix (9514) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207846)

This story on Slashdot has that strange "lying" spin on it. Everywhere else I read this story, everyone just seems to be laughing hysterically at how pathetic Sony is. Watch the video and you'll understand.

If the point of this campaign was to make it look like the PSP had a big underground following for being cool, it has totally backfired. Who wants to own a PSP now if it means being associated with the character in this video?

Re:It's called Marketing (1)

Doomstalk (629173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208322)

The problem is that it's awful. Just one viewing evokes a strong desire to do physical harm to yourself. If Apple or Nintendo made this, they would be mocked.

Re:It's called Marketing (4, Insightful)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208438)

No, bullshit. Sorry. This is NOT marketing, and in fact it's borderline deceiveing. I don't give two shits if they call it viral marketing, or astroturfing, or whatever. It is a scam simply because it intends to mislead the consumer by making him beleive that what he's seeing was created by someone who really would like a PSP for Christmas. The fact that this one is so poorly made that it begs to be laughed at is irrelevant. I don't know what saddens me most, the fact that a lot of people just can't grasp the difference or (even worse) that they're so used to this kind of promotion that think it's normal.

By the way, this was created by a PR agency - just click here [zipatoni.com].

But then again, it's Sony we're talking about. It's not like they have a track record [wikipedia.org] in this sort of matters...

Re:It's called Marketing (2, Interesting)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209502)

The general rule on the internet these days is to assume that any product promotion is actually created by a marketing company. "Fanboys" and the like are more likely just marketroids paid to post good things about PSPs on internet forums.

Re:It's called Marketing (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208498)

Apple doesn't have to fake grass roots support - they have an actual real cult following. (Even if some people think we Mac Fanboys are a bit looney sometimes.)

No, fake grass roots campaigns are deceptive and in every case I'm aware of are done by companies that are so uncool that it makes my face hurt. And it isn't that I'm particularly outraged by this campaign, but it does make the PSP seem kind of lame.

Re:It's called Marketing (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209030)

Apple doesn't have to fake grass roots support - they have an actual real cult following. (Even if some people think we Mac Fanboys are a bit looney sometimes.)

Cult following... how appropriate. The rest of us are waiting for you all to drink the kool-aid or eat the pudding or whatever.

Re:It's called Marketing (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209464)

Apple doesn't have to fake grass roots support - they have an actual real cult following. (Even if some people think we Mac Fanboys are a bit looney sometimes.)

Cult following... how appropriate. The rest of us are waiting for you all to drink the kool-aid or eat the pudding or whatever.

You missed it - we all bought copies of MacOS 9.

Re:It's called Marketing (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209622)

If 9 is the kool-aid, then 7 is a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun in your mouth spraying your brains across the ceiling.

Re:It's called Marketing (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209580)

If Nintendo or Apple did this, it would be called genius.

Oh hell no. If Nintendo or Apple did this, I would say "Fuck you, Nintendo" or "Fuck you, Apple".

Show me the Nintendo or Apple advertisement that pretends not to be an advertisement, and you have a point. No, "The Wizard" doesn't count. Until then, this is simple: Sony hired someone to astroturf for them, and thus I say "Fuck you, Sony".

Astroturfing is not new, but it's always despicable. Like the phone makers that paid models to hang out in bars flaunting their technology. If Apple paid people to hang out in bars showing off iPods, then they'd be just as bad. So far as I know they don't. Sony is engaging in the same practice, which is to make it appear as though someone likes their product because they truly like it, when in reality they are paid boku bucks to pretend they like it. That's simply rotten.

Must read Bill Hicks anti-marketing rant (5, Funny)

aendeuryu (844048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207532)

This here's a must-read if you haven't read it yet... Bill Hicks's rant on marketing.

http://sennoma.net/main/edits/Hicks.html [sennoma.net]

This is how it starts... "By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing... kill yourself."

It only gets better.

Re:Must read Bill Hicks anti-marketing rant (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17207580)

(This deserves to be posted directly)

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 makinations. Machi... Whatever, you know what I mean.

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?

"What didya do today honey?"

"Oh, we made ah, we made ah arsenic a childhood food now, goodnight." [snores] "Yeah we just said you know is your baby really too loud? You know?" [snores] "Yeah, you know the mums will love it." [snores]

Sleep like fucking children, don't ya, this is your world isn't it?

Re:Must read Bill Hicks anti-marketing rant (1)

sparkane (145547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208026)

The thought of Bill Hicks alive today, for the last six years, doing comedy making fun of the second Bush white house and making me piss in my pants with laughter.. So sad. And we thought he was funny in the 90s. Man, just think about it.

Re:Must read Bill Hicks anti-marketing rant (1)

jdcook (96434) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208304)

Personally, I'm glad he's gone. If Bill were alive today, the idea of a second President Bush would have killed him.

Re:It's called Marketing (4, Funny)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207538)

In the same vein, this does appear to be a blog by someone whose friend wants a PSP. But reading just a little into the site shows how lame this site is. It says the same thing constantly: Here's how to bug the people in your family that have money until they buy you a PSP. Nowhere at all does it show the fanboyism that would be necessary to create a site like this.

Add to that the fact that the site is VERY well designed, the graphics are all professional, and there's a really cute chick. Any 1 of those 3 could be chance, but the change that a 13-yo professional-level web and graphic designer ALSO has a cute chick for a friend is absolutely absurd.

The only people going to fall for this are the same 13 year olds that ALREADY want a PSP for xmas. Nobody else will care.

Re:It's called Marketing (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207828)

The biggest giveaway is right on the header. Nobody in real life tries to work in the X, O, Square, and Triangle into their website, only Sony Marketing would do that. I mean the writeup complained that it was not obviously labeled as an ad, but honestly, how many people are going to think otherwise?

Re:It's called Marketing (1)

mike260 (224212) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207572)

Beer ads are clearly understood to be ads by everyone but small children. The website in question pretends to be something it's not (albeit very ineptly) - you have to look at whois to find out it's an ad. But I agree, it is a form of marketing (better known as astroturfing).

Re:It's called Marketing (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207598)

the beer commercial shows you that when you open up one of their beers you get 20 naked women to show up at your party, but the "other" beer brings balding middle aged men.

Honestly, which party would be better for you, the host? Buying a few 24 packs of coors light for you and your sports friends or stocking up on 4/$9 wine coolers for the ladies? Think about it

Re:It's called Marketing (1, Offtopic)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207960)

What are you 13? You can keep the ladies who drink wine coolers. I'll take the ones who drink real drinks like tequila and vodka. But to answer your question, I'll take the beer. Being married with children, I rarely have time to unwind, drink beer, and watch sports with my buddies anymore.

Re:It's called Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17207652)

"the beer commercial shows you that when you open up one of their beers you get 20 naked women to show up at your party, but the "other" beer brings balding middle aged men."

The beer commercial doesn't hide the fact that it is a beer commercial. If I sat down in bar, got chatting with someone random, and had them recommend a type of beer to me, then found out later that they were working for that beer company, I'd be as pissed (as in off) as I am at these bullshit under-the-radar marketing campaigns of Sony's.

Re:It's called Marketing (3, Funny)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208058)

I hope you don't smoke at the bar, or sit around people who do smoke. Have you seen what a smoker's lungs look like? I suggest you stop hanging out at bars, stop smoking, and have some Chewlie's gum.

Re:It's called Marketing (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208132)

Such a thin line separates a brilliant marketing strategy from a shitty one

If I was in a bar and some guy walked in, announced he was from Beer Company X, then handed over a case for the bartender to distribute for free with his blessing, I'd thank him kindly and certainly try his product. I might even become a customer.

Re:It's called Marketing (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208648)

Such a thin line separates a brilliant marketing strategy from a shitty one
 
If I was in a bar and some guy walked in, announced he was from Beer Company X, then handed over a case for the bartender to distribute for free with his blessing, I'd thank him kindly and certainly try his product. I might even become a customer.
I believe that thin line is called "honesty". In the first guy's example, he would feel like he had been deceived. In your example, you wouldn't feel deceived and also you'd be glad to have a free beer. Now, the bar owner might not be so happy that people are handing out free beer in his bar (i.e. no one is buying beer and he isn't making money).

Re:It's called Marketing (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207688)

What beer is that? All I get to my party are balding, aging men who... went to school with me.

Thanks for making me feel old.

Re:It's called Marketing (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207776)

I think every form of advertising needs to express that it is an ad. There has been much discussion about fake or otherwise paid 'news stories' during normal news broadcasts. This falls within that classification in my opinion. If it purports to be genuinely fan-based and is not, it's a lie -- just as when news media purports to be presenting a product endorsement as a genuine "unbiased news item."

When information is presented, it should be cited when there are profit-based slants involved. I don't want to say there should be a law about it, but in some cases, there are already laws about it. But basically, I believe that if companies have a right to sue and use legal intimidation to slap down critics and even genuine fan-based media, then the public should also have a right to be informed when they are being fed a load of crap generated by marketers and advertisers. I would only consider that to be fair and balanced.

you must be working for sony... (1)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208146)

...to be saying this.

The difference between a beer ad with 20 naked women and the youtube thing is that the beer ad doesnt try to make you think its real.

What sony is doing is not called marketing, its called deception.

sony has too much money to deceive you (5, Insightful)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208900)

What sony is doing is not called marketing, its called deception.

i think you have your terms confused.

when a prominent media figure uses lawyers and journalists to avoid telling the truth, that's called spin .

when a government official enlists the help of others to not tell the truth, that's called a national security .

when a huge multi-national corporation doesn't tell the truth, that's called marketing .

when a regular person, doesn't tell the truth and has no money, politcal affiliation or legal representation that's lying .



lying is bad. spinning, marketing, and national security are what keeps us safe at night.

Re:It's called Marketing (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209112)

I pretty much agree. Both ATI and Nvidia have recieved a lot of flack lately for their viral marketing campaigns...but when you look at its base its the same old story: paying people to pretend to like your products. Ultimately the buyer has to beware and trust their own judgement. You're always getting lied too, so this isn't really anything new. Do what you always did, assume you were being lied to until its revealed otherwise.

However, this doesn't stop me from seeing how utterly pathetic it is to pay a marketing firm to pertend to be a teenager. I can just imagine a group of middle aged marketing execs sitting around a table discussing "whats cool with teenagers these days" and trying to graft those aspects onto a fake individual that everyone is going to want to emulate. It makes me laugh...but honestly, large groups of stupid people working together to come up with stupid ideas is hardly a new theme. Seems like it would be cheaper and get better results to just pay a bunch of teenagers to brag about your product on forums instead.

Trying to make it 'cool' (5, Informative)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207230)

Is it my imagination or is Sony's strategy for their playstation line to attempt to make their product 'cool' rather than to make it a good product for gamers. Over the life of the PSP it has been outsold by both the GBA and Nintendo DS and has failed to make a larger impact largely because it is not a particularly good portable videogame machine. Had Sony put the effort into it the PSP would have a larger library of good games, and in particular a library of unique 'portable gaming' content for the PSP, which would make the system sell far better.

Re:Trying to make it 'cool' (2, Insightful)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208128)

Is it my imagination or is Sony's strategy for their playstation line to attempt to make their product 'cool' rather than to make it a good product for gamers.

You repeat yourself. A 'good product for gamers' is intrinsically 'cool' , is it not? So yes I think they are aiming for that.

Over the life of the PSP it has been outsold by both the GBA and Nintendo DS and has failed to make a larger impact largely because it is not a particularly good portable videogame machine.

When Nintendo comes in 3rd place (GameCube), we rightly point to their streamlined operation and say this is fine, one need not dominate the entire marketplace to 'win' (which is an illusion anyway) as far as gamers are concerned; we like that they continue to produce great products and don't vanish in a sea of debt. To turn that around now and crow about the DS outselling the PSP by a wide margin is just a little two-faced. And we aren't even talking about PS2s, which clobber everything. See how this works? Don't give in to the fanboy one-upsmanship. Its pointless. I'm sure there are plenty of happy PSP owners out there, who the hell are you to tell them that they really don't like their game unit?

aahhh, but you forget (1)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209042)

Ah, but you forget, it is now "cool" to hate Sony and talk about how much you hate them at every chance you get. Logic, consistency, and fairness are out the window.

Re:aahhh, but you forget (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209188)

"Ah, but you forget, it is now "cool" to hate Sony and talk about how much you hate them at every chance you get."

It wouldn't be cool to hate them if their products were more worthwhile.

Re:aahhh, but you forget (2, Insightful)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209598)

Ah, but you forget, it is now "cool" to hate Sony and talk about how much you hate them at every chance you get.

Sadly, you are right. And I did forget. I wonder what the half-life for that phenomenon is. (Probably the length of time between the rootkit and the first breakout hit for the PS3. Or Spiderman 3, whichever comes first.)

Re:Trying to make it 'cool' (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209106)

You repeat yourself. A 'good product for gamers' is intrinsically 'cool' , is it not? So yes I think they are aiming for that.

Uh, no. That's not how it works. A "cool" product has hype. It's been spun. People are convinced they need one. It's not because it's the best product! Although the best product can be cool. It's like, say, the difference between a logitech optical wheel mouse and a microsoft intellimouse optical. Sure, the microsoft mouse looks a little sexier. Sure, the in-store display is prettier. But it turns out that without the 17 megabyte driver the microsoft mouse is a little jumpy, and the build quality isn't as good. The intellimouse is "cooler". People don't talk about how cool their base logitech mouse is. But it's a better mouse. (A gaming product, if you will - I got one for gaming originally, no cleaning necessary.)

When Nintendo comes in 3rd place (GameCube), we rightly point to their streamlined operation and say this is fine, one need not dominate the entire marketplace to 'win' (which is an illusion anyway) as far as gamers are concerned; we like that they continue to produce great products and don't vanish in a sea of debt. To turn that around now and crow about the DS outselling the PSP by a wide margin is just a little two-faced.

Well, that depends on how much Sony is making or losing per PSP. It's an expensive little system to make and they've had to drop the price somewhat to remain competitive. The market has not embraced UMD movies and people tend to have vastly more games for their DSes than for their PSPs, possibly a result of the price of the system itself.

I'd want to know what sony makes per PSP before I passed judgement either way on this one.

Re:Trying to make it 'cool' (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208544)



Nothing new. I distinctly remember ads piped into my middle-school homeroom that said, "Get N, or get out."

This Just In. (0, Flamebait)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207238)

Marketroids are duplicitous, unscuplulous, charlatans. In a related story, if you thought the campaign wasn't funded by Sony, you are a burden on your society and should be terminated for the good of all. News at 11.

What is going on? (1, Interesting)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207302)

Sorry, I am not quite clear on what Sony has done wrong? They paid someone to help them advertise the PSP. The advertises did this by attempting to create a viral campaign. Ok, so beside the fact that this is clearly not aimed at slashdotters or the other people who seem to be getting upset about it, why is this a problem?

Don't get me wrong, I will never by a PSP or another sony product again (the cameras were ok), for the many attrocties they have done on the buying product (and I don't count the price of the PS3 amoung them), but lets stop knocking them for every little thing they do.

Re:What is going on? (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207398)

What is going on?
Well, there's nothing wrong on the surface. It's just that the consumer doesn't 'know' that it's Sony's marketing blitz. Sony is probably doing it out of pure motive of trying to gather interest and make the news (mission accomplished--see article). But there are some people that don't like being lied to regardless of the conditions.

As consumers we feel we have a right to know where our advertisements are coming from. When we don't know who's advertising what, we get annoyed. Some of us even associate it with evil like SPAM marketers.

Essentially what it comes down to is Sony trying to present third party opinions of their products but not only are these opinions biased and untrue--they may be monetarily compensated for saying these things. They essentially lose 'street cred' among gamers. They aren't doing anything illegal, they're just using tricky marketing tactics that make the news. Some people hate it, some people might gobble it right up. Either way, I just spent two minutes talking about it to you.

Re:What is going on? (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207500)

Why do you think Google bought YouTube anyway? Its a platform for delivering non-traditional advertising.

You might have noticed that almost every IT rag & business magazine has been talking about the tremendous marketing potential of YouTube in the last few months. This isn't an accident -- YouTube was designed to deliver ads in the form of TV show clips and promotional videos like Sony's.

The user-generated content is a sideshow or trojan horse to hide the real content.

Re:What is going on? (1)

Umbrae (866097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207674)

Ugh, I don't know how people could go to this website ( http://www.alliwantforxmasisapsp.com/ [alliwantfo...isapsp.com] ) and -not- understand that it's a huge marketing scam. An obvious over-usage of '1337', obviously intentional misspellings, and very direct marketing material.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17207716)

Yeah, give him a +1 obvious statement - apparently the article's authors didn't figure that one out.

Re:What is going on? (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208088)

Yeah, I can see this argument if Sony wrote an editorial for a newspaper, or hired a radio personality to read out a prepared statement. But in this case, they are pretending to be a couple of teenage nobodies.

If you don't like being lied to, then I suggest you never watch TV, never read a newspaper or magazine, or go to an internet site with advertising. Seriously, what is the line between advertising and lying?

Re:What is going on? (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208270)

Seriously, what is the line between advertising and lying?
In most countries, the difference is that adverts have to be clearly distinguished as adverts.

Re:What is going on? (1)

faloi (738831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207412)

Don't get me wrong, I will never by a PSP or another sony product again (the cameras were ok), for the many attrocties they have done on the buying product (and I don't count the price of the PS3 amoung them), but lets stop knocking them for every little thing they do.

What's next? Stop saying that everything Microsoft does is wrong?!?! This is Slashdot, hyperbole rules!

Re:What is going on? (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207568)

What's 'wrong' is that some Slashdot visitors have uninformed outrage due to the assumption that other companies aren't doing the exact same thing.

This sort of thing was even on the national news a few months back - people who got paid to review products and post about it on Forums. But the company behind it was 'reputable' - they wouldn't post fake reviews. On the other hand, if the reviewer didn't like the product - they simply wouldn't post much at all.

It's happening all the time, and all over the place... better get used to it instead of getting all bent out of shape, I say.

Re:What is going on? (1)

Krotos (831263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207720)


It's happening all the time, and all over the place... better get used to it instead of getting all bent out of shape, I say.

Er. . .huh? Just because it's increasingly common doesn't mean we shouldn't get pissed off at it -- indeed, that may be a good reason to be more pissed off at it.

The push to teach creationism in public schools is a growing trend too. Should we be blasé about that?

Re:What is going on? (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207928)

So a company advertising its product is worthy of anger? What a bizarre outlet. Why does it deserve a strong emotion? I find ignoring it works just as well and expends less energy.

Re:What is going on? (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208738)

So a company advertising its product is worthy of anger? What a bizarre outlet. Why does it deserve a strong emotion? I find ignoring it works just as well and expends less energy.
Lots of people here aren't angry. They just think this ad campaign is stupid. And some people are probably saddened because Sony used to be a great company and also Sony could do better than this.

Re:What is going on? (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207710)

Take a look at it this way. I, as an exec at Gamestop, create a viral campaign that states Barbie's Horse Adventures is a Halo-killer and we can't even keep it on the shelves. Sony orders another 5 million units made to replace my stock... which I don't purchase because I know people will wise up soon. However, the plan works like a charm for me clearing out my stock.

Perfectly legal, I imagine. But do you think Sony would like it?

Re:What is going on? (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208046)

How the hell does this compare to Sony pretending to be a couple of teenagers? How does this even make any sense at all?

Do you get upset everytime someone has an add on tv, where they hire actors to pretend to take out a home loan? Or buy a car? I understand this is taking it to the next level - a little bit - , but is not really that different.

Re:What is going on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17207982)

"Sorry, I am not quite clear on what Sony has done wrong?"

Never stopped Zonk before.

Re:What is going on? (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208654)

Is it really that hard for people to see the difference between paid advertising, clearly labelled as such, and advertising masquerading as unpaid content?

Re:What is going on? (1)

Serengeti (48438) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209036)

"Viral" doesn't necessarily mean that it was apparently made by amateur video makers. Most "viral" videos I remember were either clear in origin or non commercial.

This, and other such marketing ploys like that of the oil companies a year ago, is subversive and attempts to circumvent the viewers sense of distrust for typical commercials. If you don't find any of that offensive, I'd be surprised.

Marketers lie? (0, Flamebait)

Evro (18923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207308)

What next? Politicians who don't keep their campaign promises? What is this world coming to?

So What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17207316)

I mean, who cares. If it really was just some schmo who setup the site, why would it have an iota more credibility than anything else? Why does this matter to anyone who has half a brain (no, the other half).

Re:So What? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209266)

" If it really was just some schmo who setup the site, why would it have an iota more credibility than anything else?"

Are you seriously asking why a satisfied customer would have an iota more credibility than a Sony paid advertisement?

"Viral campaign" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17207470)

Sorry Sony, I don't think root kits *technically* count as viruses.

The best part... (4, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207594)

My favorite part is:
you can always try to use this $249 bill to buy a psp entertainment pack for yourself. don't rlly try to use, though - if you do, you'll be playing it the next 5-10 years in cell block H!

Some poor lawyer had to pretend to be a subliterate 14-year-old while adding a disclaimer to that mess!

The Apple way (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207758)

I know I'll get tagged flamebait, troll and whatnot, but this is pretty much the way Apple's products are being marketed. The items are made "trendy", they are sold via the way of being "hip" and "cool", and that everyone wants one because they're hip and cool. How many ads do you know that talk about the features and unique things the iPod can do? How many of the accessoires that you can buy for it do really have additional value to it?

Aside from the ITMS, which a good deal of iPod users never touched, what's the advantage over other MP3 players on the market? I mean, technically, not from being "cool".

Now, I hate Sony maybe even MORE than the average /.er, I've had my share of problems and (needless) lawsuits with them. But what they do here is exactly what marketing is about today. Creating a hype. Making the product cool and thus making people want it. Not because it is technically superior or offers more utility than the competition, but simply because "so many say it's cool, so it's gotta be cool".

If you have an iPod, ask yourself why. Because you compared it and you actually found it REALLY superior to the other products in that market sector, or because someone told you it's cool and that you should have it? You needn't answer. Just ask yourself and try to be honest with yourself.

Re:The Apple way (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208020)

Sure, but IIRC, most companies do their advertising in an open and obvious fashion.

Sony isn't being criticized for trying to make their product hip & cool, but for being sneaky about it.

IMO, there are enough people out there that dislike advertising & marketing, to the point that most corporate sponsored "viral" campaigns will get their covers blown off fairly early.

Some people take satisfaction in unmasking 'dishonest' campaigns, others just don't like being manipulated.

Re:The Apple way (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209152)

That's exactly the reason why they resort to this kind of tactic.

Actually it's two reasons: First of all, more and more people know that ads tell them bollocks and turn to their peers (or, in the days of the net, other people using the product) for information about the product. They don't trust the ads, the trust their peers' opinion.

And second, they don't trust the Sony ads twice as much as they already loathe being plastered by marketing. Apple has a good rep amongst its users. It has that intrinsic "cool" tag attached to it. Sony is suffering from a lot of blunders, with the rootkit on the CDs only being the tip of the iceberg. I can honestly say I know nobody who didn't have some sort of negative experience with Sony. So simply going "we are cool" will at best get a "yeah, sure" reaction. People don't believe in Sony ads anymore. They expect to be lied to by the company.

So Sony has to resort to sneakier tactics to get people to believe their products are cool. Once the rep is ruined, the brand follows.

And I can't say I'd shed a tear.

Re:The Apple way (4, Insightful)

urbanradar (1001140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208086)

You seem to be missing the point. What's wrong isn't that Sony is trying to be cool. There's nothing wrong with that (even though it seems to have backfired horribly).

The difference is that Apple designates their adverts as such. When you watch/see an Apple ad, it's still clear that this is the company presenting itself to you. Sony wants you to believe it's not them presenting themselves to you but somebody else praising them to high heaven.

A company can go "Hello, we're Apple and we're really hip, just compare this personified PC with this personified mac!" all it wants. But it can't go "We're just a couple of random teenagers with no connection to Sony - but let's all buy PSPs!"

There still is a thin line between marketing and lying. A very thin line, yes, but it's nonetheless there.

Re:The Apple way (2, Informative)

JonLatane (750195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208234)

I know you said I needn't answer, but I feel that I should nonetheless. The reason I bought an iPod (an iPod nano, actually) is because of the simplicity of managing my music with iTunes. I had owned several Creative (and before that, Rio) players and after the last one broke I started looking more and more at iPods. Both their music management systems are bloated and buggy - say what you will about iTunes's memory footprint, it has never once crashed on me, and with 1GB of RAM the 40-50MB it takes while playing is inconsequential.

Its music management systems are sublime. I can make any playlist I want, and smart playlists, while not a new concept, are exceptionally simple in iTunes. Since I have over 30GB of music and a 4GB MP3 player, managing my music should have been horribly difficult - and it was, even when I had a 20GB Nomad Zen. However, I just have smart playlists set up that contain about 500MB of my least-listened-to, highest-rated songs, 3GB of my most-listened-to, highest-rated songs, 250MB of random stuff that I may just have not gotten around to rating, which I can rate when I hear it on my playlist and then re-sync with iTunes, and some extra space reserved for things like data and extra playlists (for example, I'm currently preparing to play piano for a production of Evita at UNC Chapel Hill, and I have the soundtrack in that extra space so I can make sure I've gotten to know the music).

This simplicity is added to the fact that there is essentially no better MP3 jukebox on Windows, Linux or Mac, at least none that I have found. Songbird may approach it someday (but man, if you want to talk about memory footprints...), and MusikCube is alright but not as simple. WMP is, of course, a joke.

So anyway, what I've been ranting about is that there are some very, very good reasons for the non-trendy, technical guy to buy an iPod.

The problem people have here is that Sony is attempting to market a bad product, with minimal software (well, aside from their perpetual anti-homebrew updates, if you call that software), to people who aren't familiar enough with it (parents, grandparents, etc.) to understand that it's so terrible. The desire for iPods developed before I ever saw an ad by Apple, whereas Sony is trying to create such desire.

Re:The Apple way (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208986)

WMP is, of course, a joke.

Can I ask: Have you tried windows media player 11? I agree anything before that was a complete joke, but I find WMP11 to be far superior to them, including iTunes (in fact, many have said that iTunes 7 has taken some ideas from WMP11). And it plays well with MP3 players too. Before I had to use a crappy custom software to put songs in my Sony Ericsson Walkman phone, but now WMP11 detects it as an MP3 player when I plug it in and lets me sync playlists/add music to it all I like.

Re:The Apple way (1)

TomHandy (578620) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208290)

I get the impression you weren't actually looking for responses, but I'll go ahead and tell you.

I have personally never purchased an iPod because it was "hip" or "cool". Before I owned an iPod, my primary MP3 player was a Diamond Rio 500. I recall also having looked at things like the Creative Nomad Jukebox, which appealed to me because of their capacity, but I didn't like the size or the navigation. I remember trying out the Nomad Jukebox, and finding it to be kind of a pain to navigate around, etc. And as I recall, there wasn't much in the way of good software for it either, but I never used it personally, so I can't say for sure.

When the iPod first came out, I actually didn't buy one right away, but a few things appealed to me when I tried it out in stores, etc. The first was the scrollwheel, which to this day I still consider a significant technical advantage over other mp3 players. I've tried a ton of other players, and I just prefer the navigation scheme of the iPod. I'm not going to say it's "better", as there are certainly other perfectly good navigation schemes out there (one of my friends has one of the newer Samsung Flash players and I thought the navigation was pretty solid on that as well), but I've found it to be the most natural for me.

The size of course also appealed to me, as the main reason I didn't buy the Jukebox was that it was about as big as a CD player, and I wanted something closer in size to my Rio 500. The iPod definitely fit the bill in that regard.

Finally, the iTunes synching appealed to me a great deal. One of the things I never really liked with the Rio 500 was just the whole idea that I had to drag music manually back and forth, and it was never really convenient.

I've found the iTunes/iPod combination to be really good for me personally, because I like being able to just create playlists or sync my entire library, and have the exact same music setup on my personal music player as I do on my desktop computer. I know that some people prefer just manually organizing their music on their mp3 player, but I personally like the sync concept. I remember the other annoyance I used to have was that if I got rid of an album or song on my computer, I had to also remember to remove it from my mp3 player as well. With iTunes library synching, this is no longer an issue for me.

And yes, generally speaking, I like the design of the iPod. That's certainly a factor for me too. I currently have an 8GB second generation Nano, which might be my favorite iPod yet because it has enough storage to let me carry a lot of my music with me, while also being small enough that I take it with me just about everywhere (something which I didn't always do with the larger hard drive-based iPods).

On to your larger point; Apple has certainly had a pretty effective advertising campaign, but I would argue that it's been pretty minimalist, all things being equal. Really, when you think about it, the iPod ads, for the most part, are advertising the primary "feature" of the iPod; using it to listen to music.

I don't think this is so crazy; I know that a lot of people say "Oh, the iPod doesn't have all these advanced features that my music player does", but I can at least personally say that I am someone who bought the iPod primarily to listen to music, and I don't think it's crazy to have an ad campaign centered around that.

The thing with the iPod though is that in large part it has become something that sells itself. You can only get so far on creating a "hip" image for a product, if the product itself is no good. If the iPod itself were just a fad, it would have died out by this point, because people wouldn't keep buying new iPods.

I certainly acknowledge that my case is not necessarily representative of all iPod buyers, and I do know that there are people out there who buy iPods more for status symbols, etc. or just because of that perceived notion of "hipness". But that is also something that probably goes beyond just advertising, etc.

And lastly, there is a pretty big difference between normal television and print and billboard advertising (the primary way the iPod has been marketed) and something like what we're discussing here, which is Sony creating a website that is supposed to be "hip and edgy" and look like it is run by a teenager, and not just an ad campaign. Apple doesn't really need to do this.

And Sony of course didn't always need to do this either; the Walkman was also a product that "sold itself" in a way.

Re:The Apple way (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208892)

I could have posted this because not only do I feel the exact same way as this guy, I agree with every point he makes and ALSO my first MP3 player was a Diamond Rio 500. And I currently own 1 iPod - a 20GB 2nd Gen. I bought this iPod before iPods were cool, before the iTunes Music Store, before iTunes for Windows. I remember people asking me what it was. I'd buy a new iPod, but the one I have works really well and I prefer the firewire port on it to the dock port on the new ones.

Frankly, I was very surprised that the iPod became such a major hit because Apple had made a lot of similar products over the years that weren't successful. (Newton, QuickTake cameras, etc.) But one thing I did know when I bought my iPod was that Apple would get the software right. They almost always get the software right.

Meh, Poor Advertising (1)

Alaren (682568) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208314)

I don't know, astrotrufing is nothing new, what I found interesting was just how poorly done this was! I mean, some of the comments on the website are so bad I actually considered them newsworthy when Kotaku pointed out the site. Seriously... they misuse basic internet shorthand, refuse to use the shift key for anything, use "popular" internet slang in completely incorrect contexts, and have printable ads that say "THIS IS NOT AN AD."

Over on somethingawful [somethingawful.com], St. German said, "Someone crit failed their memetics roll." I'd say that about sums it up.

If this is what it takes to make money as an advertising firm, I may be in the wrong business. Heck, they'd get better astroturfing for less money from a real 14 year old.

Re:The Apple way (1)

tzhuge (1031302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208352)

I have to respond to this because it's a criticism of the iPod that comes up over and over again and it really isn't justified. I'm the kind of person who reads up extensively on a product before buying anything. When I got my 3rd gen iPod I looked at several alternatives and at the time the iPod was quite clearly the best product of its type.



A while after that, Apple's competitors released a slew of iPod-killer products and I suffered quite a bit from buyers remorse. There were all these players from Creative and iRiver that had superior features and cost less. I pretty much felt that anyone who bought an iPod at that point was a tool... until I got my hands on an iRiver HP20 or whatever. Boy did the interface on that thing ever suck; it was just pathetic how many controls were on the thing just so you could browse a few menus. I'm sure it was a great MP3 player for some people. It had FM tuner, better audio quality, manage your own music instead of using iTunes, etc. I have tried a few other hd players as well, Rio, Creative, etc. and they all had areas that were weaker than iPods and areas that were stronger.



I guess my point is don't dismiss the iPod as the inferior but trendy product. The iPod's popularity is deserved. It has the best controls and interface in the market and for the vast majority of people it is a better product. It may not be the best product for you but that doesn't make you any more savvy.

Re:The Apple way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17208356)

I know I'll get tagged flamebait, troll and whatnot, but this is pretty much the way Apple's products are being marketed.

Funny, I thought it was those Mac vs. PC ads starring the guy from the Daily Show and some guy who might be trying to be the Fonz or not.

The items are made "trendy", they are sold via the way of being "hip" and "cool", and that everyone wants one because they're hip and cool.

The latter part isn't why I bought one, but I'm not mainstream, so I might not count as part of "everyone."

How many ads do you know that talk about the features and unique things the iPod can do?

Good point, but Apple didn't have to create fake people to generate buzz. Their style was to create an artistic commercial that would make people curious; then people would start saying, "WTF is this iPod?" and go find out for themselves. No Astroturfing was needed. It hearkens back to their 1984 commercial, which said nothing of the Mac's technical merits.

Aside from the ITMS, which a good deal of iPod users never touched, what's the advantage over other MP3 players on the market? I mean, technically, not from being "cool".

  • It has a simple user interface.
  • It does what I want.
  • It doesn't go doing things I don't want.
  • It just works with my Mac.
  • I wanted something to play MP3s in my ten year old car, which just has a tape deck in the stereo, and I didn';t want to jump through hoops to do it.

I'm not out to be elite; I just want to listen to some music and not have to pull out a manual to tell me how to turn off some radio thingamajig so the batteries last longer. Your mileage may vary.

But what they do here is exactly what marketing is about today. Creating a hype. Making the product cool and thus making people want it. Not because it is technically superior or offers more utility than the competition, but simply because "so many say it's cool, so it's gotta be cool".

Of course; because utility and technical superiority is engineering, not marketing. Also, please do not confuse technical superiority with having a bigger features list. It's not the size of the wave.

If you have an iPod, ask yourself why. Because you compared it and you actually found it REALLY superior to the other products in that market sector, or because someone told you it's cool and that you should have it? You needn't answer. Just ask yourself and try to be honest with yourself.

See above. What's even better is that I don't have to diss someone else's music player to enjoy mine.

Re:The Apple way (1)

Triv (181010) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208400)

No, no, NO.

The difference is, when Apple advertises to you, it's through a television in a situation where being advertised to is accepted, obvious and transparent. Sony hiring some douchebag to PRETEND to be a fifteen-year-old boy to generate buzz for the PSP is deceptive, crude, egomaniacal, dishonest and vulgar. I work in marketing and I say this: if my company ever tried to pull off some shit like this, the backlash from the staff would be extreme.

There really is such a thing as GOOD marketing, even morally aware marketing. This ISN'T it.

Re:The Apple way (1, Insightful)

EzraSj (993720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208454)

but this is pretty much the way Apple's products are being marketed. The items are made "trendy", they are sold via the way of being "hip" and "cool", and that everyone wants one because they're hip and cool. How many ads do you know that talk about the features and unique things the iPod can do? How many of the accessoires that you can buy for it do really have additional value to it?

Ugh. Talk about missing the point. The issue with this advertising method is not that it appeals to peoples sense of 'cool' or 'trendiness'. Every company on the planet tries to appeal to the cool factor in every advertisement! Have you seen a coke commercial lately? A car commercial? A cell phone commercial? Appealing to hipness is not the relevant issue here, since sony and every other company under the sun already does this.

The issue here is that Sony is straight up lying in order to create this hype. They've created a website through a third party that is almost certainly meant to deceive parts of their target audience into thinking it is real and NOT an advertisement. The difference is analogous to buying an ad on the side of a bus (something that makes itself obvious as an advertisement) and paying some kids to talk loudly about the next great product from company X while sitting on the bus. One is clearly marked, the other is not.

Think about it this way. If this was really a 'viral marketing' scheme aimed at us savvy gamers who are tasked with 'figuring it out' then they failed miserably, since it takes us about .085 seconds to realize this is all BS, and its also just pissing most of us off. There's nothing to figure out - its clearly a lie. But for those webusers who aren't as able to differentiate between fact and fiction (some of us might know them as the majority), this would be a useful and deceptive hype building tool. And that is what is wrong with this. It isnt about what they're trying to accomplish, its about how they're doing it.

Re:The Apple way (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208484)

I think there's an important distinction to be made.

It is true that what Apple does with the iPod, making it cool, is what Sony is trying to do with the PSP. I don't think we can argue that point. However, their methods and the success thereof are quite different.

There's a very different feel to the approaches to both companies. Apple isn't exploiting subcultures and trends to advertise the iPod. They don't use 1337 h4x or urban themes to sell their product. They make their own ads, and make them cool. The problem with Sony's PSP advertisements is that they're trying to make the PSP cool by linking it to other things that are already considered cool (at least by marketers), rather than marketing it as cool unto itself. The side effect of Sony's strategy is that it ends up being rather misleading, underhanded and generally poorly received.

The PSP should be able to be cool on it's own, which Sony's marketers seem to have forgotten in lieu of the latest marketing trends.

Re:The Apple way (1)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208838)

But what they do here is exactly what marketing is about today. Creating a hype. Making the product cool and thus making people want it.
Yeah... except the whole affair is not about creating hype. Creating hype is fair game. Creating a fake fan site and fake fan videos is not. There is a line between a 15-year old actor saying he "luvs psp" in an ad on tv (in most civilized countries ads must be clearly flagged as such in newspapers and TV) and a 30+ marketeer pretending he is an actual 15-year old who created a fan site.

Re:The Apple way (1)

greysky (136732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209172)

What the iPod has over other music players -

1- A wider selection of accessories to choose from. The installed user base for iPods is so dominant that the selection of accessories dwarf all other players *combined*.
2- An intuitive, well-thought-out user interface that nearly anyone can use.
3- Syncing software that doesn't require the user to understand the ins-and-outs of software configuration to use. Just plug it in and it syncs right up. I know non-geeks that refuse to buy an iPod because they don't own an Apple computer, so they figure it won't be fully compatible. They go through player after player returning them because they can't get them to work right. I'll show them how they work, they don't get it, so I tell them to buy an iPod, and they go get something else.

Once again Sony is Satan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17207862)

News flash nerds everybody does this. Sony, MS, Nintendo...and practically every other major brand has viral campaigns, shills on message boards and blogs...so this really isn't news.

What's even more amazing is if the current "IT" company of the moment Nintendo/Apple was "caught" doing this 90% of this page would say, "smart move, great marketing, Nintendo is my daddy...Steve Jobs is so smart for doing this..."

Re:Once again Sony is Satan... (3, Insightful)

TomHandy (578620) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208496)

That is, of course, ridiculous. If Apple or Nintendo were to do this, you would see plenty of people criticizing them for it, saying it was lame, etc. Seriously, there seems to be this notion that Apple or Nintendo never get criticized here, but that seems pretty far from reality.

The big difference of course though is that Apple and Nintendo currently don't NEED to do this. They didn't need to create fake blogs to get people to talk about current or upcoming products, because there are plenty of real ones that do this for them. Sony of course doesn't always need to do this either........ if you have a successful or in-demand product like the PS3, you don't need to create a website like alliwantforxmasisaps3.com.

Outside of that though, historically speaking, Apple and Nintendo haven't really had to do this, or even when you could say they had to do, it isn't the kind of thing they normally would do. I mean, remember, the Mac has minuscule marketshare, all things being equal. Nintendo's GameCube came in third place. But Apple and Nintendo haven't used that as an excuse to create some goofy fake site to try and add hipness or something to their product lines.

And really, Sony doesn't have to do that either. The other tact to take with the PSP is to keep releasing high quality titles like MGS: Portable Ops, and get REAL buzz going again for the platform from real people.

Re:Once again Sony is Satan... (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209144)

I don't think the average ./ reader, or the average consumer would be too accepting of this sort of thing, regardless of who did it. Think for a second about what is going on here. An advertising firm is trying to pass off their ads as completely neutral, unsolicited praise for a product.

Everyone knows that advertisements stretch the truth a little, but we accept it because we know they're ads, we know they were created with a profit-driven agenda, and so we can compensate. We compensate by researching products, trying to find opinions and information from consumers; people who have bought, tried, used, and abused the product. There is a lot of demand for unfiltered assessments of products, because we all know that the company produced ads are bunk. What Sony is doing here is muddying that process.

Am I surprised that advertising has moved on to this? No, not really. I am surprised that a company as big as Sony feels the need to do it (and that they did it so poorly). But surprised or not, I definitely don't have to like it or approve of it. I, from time to time, worship at the altar of Apple. But if they were to do something like this, I would not be impressed, and I don't think /. would either.

Viral marketing isn't inherently bad. A good example was the 'i love bees' dealie that bungie did a while back. It was mysterious, and resulted in a lot of publicity, but it wasn't so blatantly dishonest. It was trying to create buzz, and not trying to pass off paid advertising as legitimate opinions. That was a genius marketing campaign.

Viral (1)

Xymor (943922) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207902)

It isn't fake, It IS a viral market campaign mixed with youtube fake phenomenoum(like lovelygirl15). It wouldn't be as effective if a company made a real ad and posted in youtube.
By getting all this exposure they must alredy have succeded in spiking PSP sales.

That and MGS Portable Ops(this game is awesome).

Zonk Behind Fake Anti-Sony Slashdot Campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17208212)

prove me wrong

Re:Zonk Behind Fake Anti-Sony Slashdot Campaign (1)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209026)

I can't see anything to refute here...

I am Batman and you are a green llama in a drag. Prove me wrong!

It's notable because it's so BAD!! (1)

Vesuvias (584893) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208446)

There is nothing wrong with marketing but I think a lot of people have problems with paid corporate influence of things like user reviews. Perfectly legal for them to do but it is kind of slimy from the customers prospective (since they expect non biased reviews from 3rd parties). Paying someone to "pose" as an unbiased 3rd party to peddle your product will definatly seem dishonest to the customer.

That said, what is disturbing about this particular marketing site is how BAD it is. The horrible rap video and fake user comments with 'l337' speak does not help them with thier target audience. Some might say that there is no such thing as bad press. Well that is definatly not true. It is especially not true when you are pushing 'hip' and "trendiness' of your product. That's a dangerous road, one mistep or one improper association and you undue all of your positive marketing work. In this case I can easily see someone pulling out a PSP to play and thier friends imediatly start ragging them by mockingly rapping to "all I want for christmas is a PSP" video. Does Sony really want to associate themselves with beyond horrible rap songs and piss poor attempts at l337 speak???

Ves

Marketing? Yeah Right! (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208650)

Sony officially sucks at marketing (or their choice in the people who do it for them). Honestly, look at the site, over 2000 comments about how much gamers hate this kind of garbage. This won't spike sales of PSP's, it will do the opposite. People don't want to hear "LOLZ11!!1one for R34lz!". I for one, HATE astroturf. As far as advertising goes, this will work as well as a flightsuit and a "mission accomplished" banner behind you.

Blame the advertising company. (2, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208716)

This to me just demonstrates the quality of the advertising and marketing industry. They produce this sort of garbage more for their own reputation and portfolio than they do for the good of the client.

They want to demonstrate that they're capable of doing extreme, creative work but the end result is lame and far from being creative. It's like they produce the first crappy idea someone comes up with. And it seems they're obsessed with Adult Swim and Youtube.

I'm curious is Sony openly embraced these campaigns or if they were forced into it by the marketing company. I wouldn't be surprised if it's the latter. From personal experience, I've found the people at many of these advertising companies to be very arrogant. I also get the distinct impression from their surveys that they seem to have a habit of fabricating market research which somehow always demonstrates that their way of doing things is the most effective.

I realize everyone seems to enjoy bashing Sony and I can't say I disagree with much of what is said. That said, I can't say this is unique to Sony. I'd say most consumer goods companies use this sort of advertising. To single out Sony for this over anyone else is a bit foolish to me. What I do hate is this sort of advertising, to me it's an insult to my intelligence. But then, I hate advertising in general.

Re:Blame the advertising company. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17209166)

I'm curious is Sony openly embraced these campaigns or if they were forced into it by the marketing company. I wouldn't be surprised if it's the latter.

Uh, Sony is an 800lb gorilla. The Ad Agency doesn't tell Sony what to do. It's the other way around.

Sony has immense industry cred because they are successful.

I thought this was about the G4 spoof (1)

random coward (527722) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208724)

I thougt this was about this video about the Wii and PS3 [google.com] And I thought: why would sony expect this to be positive marketing. Then I realized it was about something else. But I guess its all viral marketing, just some is better than others.

Did Sony release the symbols to public domain? (5, Interesting)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208728)

In the "blog" Sony paid for (and condoned) is the following:
don't just wear it - pwn it!!1!

<pictures snipped>

step 1: download [alliwantfo...isapsp.com] the iron-on patterns sheet
step 2: print
step 3: cut out pieces you want on your t
step 3: iron on
step 4: wear it like u mean it

No terms. No requirements. No restrictions. No demands. No disclaimers. Anyone who understands "pwn it!!1!" can easily claim that Sony paid a company to expressly promote and authorise the free use of any and all trademarked symbols, none of which display a trademark symbol in the PDFs, for their own purposes regardless of what they might be. That is pwnage.

One more Thing (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208796)

I think sony has effectively killed '1337' speak. Thank dog for that. Maybe we can stop using it (even in jest).

Critique (5, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208942)

You don't need to have spent years on the internet to know that when someone makes common mistakes/shortcuts like luv and ur, they don't do it halfway. You'll never see the following sentence on the internet by someone doing it unintentionally.

Hello everyone, I was just thinking that ur all going to luv my latest blog entry.


This sentence of my creation highlights something everyone who's ever used IRC, read Barrens chat, or hacked the e-mail of a 14 year old knows. People who use ur and luv and similar shortcuts and mispellings will not be using proper punctuation, spelling and grammar. It doesn't happen.

Yet, here is what we have from the website. I will be pointlessly dissecting it.

here's the deal::: i (charlie) have a psp. my friend jeremy does not. but he wants one this year for xmas.


People do not use colons on the internet. That key is the jaded and lost son of the realm of QWERTY. People also make assumptions, assumptions such as their identity being well known. They won't be specifying that they are "charlie", you should already know that. If you don't, you're a noob. Jeremy fails to be derided for not having a PSP. Lastly, no one speaking like this would specify "this year", or type "one" out. Number keys are there 4 a reason.

so we started clowning with sum not-so-subtle hints to j's parents that a psp would be teh perfect gift. we created this site to spread the luv to those like j who want a psp!


No one on the internet can spell subtle, let alone know where to use hyphens. A common thing to notice is the use of larger words here were smaller ones would have sufficed. "started" could be "were" or "did". "created" is two syllabels longer than "made". The last sentence would more improperly be "we maed this site 2 giv luv 4 u who want a psp liek j!"

consider us your own personal psp hype machine, here to help you wage a holiday assault on ur parents, girl, granny, boss -- whoever -- so they know what you really want.


Again with the long words. Very few words over 2 syllabels are in the common lexicon on the internet. "consider", "personal", "holiday", "whoever", all unknown to the internet mind. Again with the hyphens as well. There are no "girl"s on the internet, only "gf"s, and when was the last time we saw "granny"? What kid this supposed age would have a "boss"?

we'll let you know how it works for us. pls return the favor.

more to come,
c&j.


Anyone who uses ur is not going to type out "you". "you" is four characters too many as it is. Also, the kind of comraderie shown in this last sentiment is completely foreign. This is the internet, not a high tea. There are no favors, there are only noobs and 1337 h4x.

if ur goin 2 b 1337 u hav 2 b cool like m3 lol
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...