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    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    Sony: Edgy & Fresh, Or Cunts?

    A few posts ago, we weighed into the flash in the pan debate about Sony’s idiotic God Of War 2 press event and mentioned this:

    “We remember a friend who had been into hospital and had a head x-ray about 10 years ago. A week or two later, a mailing marked “urgent” arrived, and in it were plastic reproductions of head x-rays with a letter worded as though he had a serious illness. He realised as he read further down the letter that it was some bullshit Sony “game brain” crap, but not until he’d almost had a nervous breakdown at the thought of being notified to see his doctor urgently after having a head x-ray. Complaining to Sony, they just sent back a letter saying how they were being “fresh”. No Sony – you were being fucking arseholes.”

    Courtesy of an Anonymous Knight, we can bring you a fully illustrated account of Sony’s idiocy.

    Imagine you’ve just had your head x-rayed. A week later, this envelope arrives:

    Inside is this image, printed on the same transparent plastic material x-rays are printed on:

    And with it is this letter (address and name removed):

    "Matter of urgency... progressive condition... marked deterioration... potentially serious... please make an immediate appointment with your local consultant". It only took a minute or so for our Anonymous Knight to realise that it was Sony advertising, but in the minute leading up to his realisation, he thought he was being told that he had something seriously wrong in his head. Yes, doctors tend to call you in to tell you bad news, but in the heat of the moment and with the NHS being how they are, anything’s possible.

    When he wrote to Sony to complain how this had scared the pulsating shit out of him, they wrote back telling him that he was overreacting to their “edgy” and “fresh” marketing. Presumably in the sense of them existing on the “edge of humanity”, and being “fresh out of ideas that won’t make us come across as complete cunts”. And it was for fucking Medievil, of all things.

    Needless to say, being privileged enough to be on the receiving end of Sony’s “edgy” and “fresh” advertising made him feel much better about thinking he was dying. Well done, Sony. Be proud.


    1. Anonymous4:41 am


      Are you sure?

      The letter says it's from "Dr Bosconovitch", which is very similar to (and probably a typo of) Doctor Boskonovitch, from Tekken.

      Also, can we see the reverse of the card? The letter says to take advantage of 2 free "Hand Conditioning Devices" if "you find any friends displaying similar symptons", and earlier on mentions "thumb-eye co-ordination". I reckon the back of the card showed a PlayStation pad, or something.

      Regardless, this is almost as shit advertising as their "alliwantforxmas" site.

    2. The back of the card shows other medical-looking pics, but no pads or anything instantly recognisable as Sony related.

      There are other x-ray slides in the pack advertising Tekken 3 and The Fifth Element too.

    3. Anonymous3:12 pm

      Come on though, it might be a bit of a rubbish marketing stunt, but what are you really saying? That Sony shouldn't have done it based on the fact that you might scare the crap out of someone who had recently had a head scan?

      What are the chances? Of course it's crazy and awful for the one guy waiting for results.

      But it would be a pretty sad state of affairs if the idea had been vetoed in the boardroom on the grounds that there might just be one person who could conceivably be in such a situation...

      I don't even agree that it's a terrible advertising idea. It at least shows some creativity and effort. Sony have done some really rubbish and insensitive marketing stunts, but I don't think this counts as one of them.

    4. What are the chances? Quite good, considering x-rays aren't rare events.

      Why not send out a mailshot marked "you've got cancer" and suggest buying a PS3 in the small print. It'll scare the fuck out of anyone who's recently been tested and is on the mailshot, but they're in the minority, and the campaign will show creativity and effort, so fuck 'em.

    5. Anonymous4:26 pm

      I think a mailshot marked "You've got cancer" would scare people whether they've had a test recently or not.

      That's not really a fair comparison, is it?

    6. Anonymous4:39 pm

      I think we should ban all games with car crashes in because I had one about 10 years ago and it shows remarkable insensitivity to me and those who care for me.

    7. Anonymous12:25 am

      You guys are being such dicks. That was a stupid thing Sony did, and comparing car games to a car crash is silly.

    8. Anonymous3:18 pm

      You can run a successful ad campaign without resorting to impersonating medical professionals and upsetting people, Sony.

      Also, isn't said impersonation kind of illegal? Even if they break character eventually to say "buy this stuff!", it's still deception up until that point, isn't it? That point being after they've implied there's something very wrong with you medically, so after the damage is done.

    9. Anonymous2:43 pm

      The sort of humour that this sort of stunt relies on only really exists between friends. If I had got this fake x-ray thing from a mate I'd have initially been shocked (whether or not I was actually expecting results like this) maybe just for a few seconds until the penny dropped, and then amused, possibly with thoughts of comedy revenge on my mind. But I do not expect it from some fuckers who are basically trying to sell me something. All of those trucker-cap wearing coke snorting ad twats can fuck off. Just sell me something honestly please FFS, I'm not that morally bankrupt that I need these shock tactics - I just need to know if its a good game.

      In the words of Bill Hicks (which he said a depressingly long time ago now) "If you're in marketing, please kill yourself."