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Sony Graffiti Ads Draw More Anger 69

Posted by Zonk
from the viral-marketing-for-the-lose dept.
Philly.com is running the confirmation that Sony paid a vendor to lease wallspace for their PSP graffiti ads. Philadelphia groups are slamming the ads as affronts to clean urban spaces, and the Licenses and Inspections Department in the city is planning to cite the business owner. From the article: "Jake Dobkin, copublisher of the Gothamist Web site, considers himself a street-art aficionado. He said the Sony campaign hit his SoHo neighborhood in Manhattan a few weeks ago with not only 'dozens' of spray-painted murals but 'hundreds' of posters of the same cutesy youths. He took aim at Sony for trying to dupe people like him. 'It's clearly a large campaign, and deserves a thoughtful, measured response,' he wrote on his blog. 'Here's mine: corporate graffiti sucks.'"
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Sony Graffiti Ads Draw More Anger

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  • Solution... (Score:5, Funny)

    by WTBF (893340) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @06:42PM (#14354472)
    Just go round and spray $sys$ infront of all the adverts.
  • Poor Sony... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by creimer (824291)
    I welcome our spray-painting Sony Overlords... and so does the anti-spraypaint police.
  • So? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I thought the basic problem with graffiti that people were complaining about was that it is usually done to other people's property. If the property owner is consenting to this, where's the problem? Seems to me, it's a bunch of people who don't like graffiti itself using the property arguing as a ruse to get their way.

    • Re:So? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by creimer (824291)
      The artworks are basically unmarked billboards pretending to be street graffiti and can be argued as "false advertising" by those who are able to stick a large multinational corporation with a big fine.
      • Re:So? (Score:2, Funny)

        by heinousjay (683506)
        You have an interesting definition of false advertising. Incidentally, I'm using your technique and redefining interesting to mean something private. What I mean by it is left as an exercise.
        • It's not false advertising, but it is very likely a zoning violation. Most cities require permits for advertisement signs.
          • But the problem is not so much Sony's as the property owners' not getting the appropriate licence. Additionally it gets into a more nebulous area as it is not a Billboard nor any sign but paint directly on a building.
    • Because graffiti looks like crap, and will likely cause more graffiti to show up in the future.
      • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bogtha (906264) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:05PM (#14354588)

        The awful Christmas decorations some people put up look like crap too, but we don't forbid people from putting them up on their own property, do we?

        Since when is bad taste illegal?

        • Re:So? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by bigman2003 (671309)
          I owned a business for a long time- a new business opened up next to mine, it was listed as an 'art gallery'. It had the crappiest art you've ever seen (I don't mean like a 6 year old, I mean like an idiotic 19 year old...which is what it was.) They put old couches out in front of their place, spray painted their half of the building, put up horrible hand-painted signs, etc. etc. This was for a building we shared where I was paying $2.50/square foot- back in 1993.

          One of my customers was actually the city
          • just wondering did it affect your business at all? a lot of customers are pretty conservative and that sort of scene could have scared them away. I'm not just talking about your situation but others. if the graffiti or "ugly" hurts your business/community value, cant you do something about it?
        • What? This is Slashdot! Anything a company above 50+ people does (except Google) is evil by default. How dare you be reasonable and bring up a perfectly good point that highlights an embarassingly slanted perspective? :)
        • Actually, there are several communities in Illinois that have made it illegal to leave decorations up for more than 60 days past the holiday.

          Shadowshawk
    • Re:So? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Philadelphia has strict billboard regulations. Companies have to get a permit from the city's Licenses and Inspections Department before putting up an advertisement.

      Sony did not get permission ahead of time for its graffiti ads, the L&I office confirmed yesterday."

      I dont think anyone who posted even read this.Since, obviously, it is illegal.
    • I thought the basic problem with graffiti that people were complaining about was that it is usually done to other people's property. If the property owner is consenting to this, where's the problem?

      There are two other aspects you have to consider; first - there is the general distaste among the public for astroturfing [wikipedia.org]. Secondly, in many cities signage and public advertising are regulated - no matter if you have the owners permission, without the proper permit it isn't legal.

      This is made clear if you RTFA

  • Deaf ears. (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @06:47PM (#14354488) Homepage Journal

    Complaining won't work. Spraypaint swastikas on the ads, they'll be erased in no time.
    (not that they're nazis, but swastikas always get the clean-up crews in action.)
    • Godwin to the rescue!!!1
    • Complaining won't work. Spraypaint swastikas on the ads, they'll be erased in no time. (not that they're nazis, but swastikas always get the clean-up crews in action.)

      And if you are lucky, you may accidentally spray paint it on some Jewish owned private property (never more than a stone's throw away in NYC) and get charged with a hate crime. [wikipedia.org] Good luck solving your future problems with that "two wrongs" thingy.
  • by vertinox (846076) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:12PM (#14354629)
    He said the Sony campaign hit his SoHo neighborhood in Manhattan a few weeks ago with not only 'dozens' of spray-painted murals but 'hundreds' of posters of the same cutesy youths.

    Oh... Myabe because graffiti in NYC is classified as... You know... A felony.

    With a entire office of police devoted to graffiti crime.
    • by MMaestro (585010)
      Philadelphia has strict billboard regulations. Companies have to get a permit from the city's Licenses and Inspections Department before putting up an advertisement.

      Sony did not get permission ahead of time for its graffiti ads, the L&I office confirmed yesterday.

      L&I intended to issue a violation to the property owner and inform Sony that such advertising required a permit, said a department official who asked not to be identified.

      Putting up posters isn't much better when you don't get permissio

      • Yes, here in NY you can just about see the "Post No Bills" markings where someone has torn off one or two of the hundreds of identical posters covering the wall.
        • Except in cases like that, theres no clear evidence regarding whos doing the posting. How do you know a company didn't hire another company to do the advertising and had nothing to do with where they were posted? Maybe they were put up by a random fanboy who simply wanted his favorite band to get some advertisement, should the band be punished for that? Hell, maybe they were put up by a competitor who wanted to smear their reputation, theres no evidence.

          In this case, the evidence is clear. The styles are to

      • Re:RTFA (Score:2, Interesting)

        by AvitarX (172628)
        Billboard laws are pretty much ignored in Philadelphia. They were looking at starting to fine illegal billboards to get more revenue in the budget,and clear channel through a hissy fit (don't know what they decided to do). I heard on the raidio that it is estimated more than 50% of all billboards/signs are in violation of the code withing Philadelphia.
  • Edgy? Please! (Score:2, Insightful)

    They think they're being cute and getting their product into the public memespace, whatever the hell that is. They kind of are, but it's backfiring.

    The problem is, it's not backfiring quickly enough to suit me. So I propose we help them. We need to co-opt and corrupt the vacant-eyed gamins, in their style, and make them completely abhorrent to the general public. Only then will Sony achieve the vicious, visceral backlash and legal ass-reaming that these jokers are begging for.....

    ...say. Ass-reaming? I

  • that the only graffiti that I've ever liked was the old Palm OS graffiti. Most spray painting is pretty lame, IMO.
    • FYI, that was the old PC-Geos graffiti first. Palm computing's first [?] product was the OS for the Casio/Tandy-Radio Shack/AST-GRiD Z-PDA 7000/"Zoomer"/GRiDPad 2390. (whew!) They released graffiti for that OS long ago. It also works on my GRiDPad 1910 with PC-Geos installed (and THAT system has a 640x400 mono CGA display, rather than 384x512 4-greyscale.)
  • by GrumpySimon (707671) <.zn.ten.nomis. .ta. .liame.> on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:41PM (#14354787) Homepage
    ... if you work in advertising, please, kill yourself. Do it for the good of everyone.
    • Unless you're one of the many people in the industry (such as myself) who strive to make entertaining advertising that is actually useful, and that people actually seek out. There's a reason Adcritic had to start charging.....it was so damn popular! Now tell Bill Hicks to put THAT in his pipe and smoke it.

      • Question for you. Why is it that the beer companies always have the best commercials? It seems like the best ones they have don't even have a beer in them, just their logo at the end.
        • Well...the notion that beer companies always have the best commercials is one that I have to say is not shared by most of the advertising industry. They often have massive budgets, but too often they fall into the trap of "show attractive people having exciting parties with tons of shots of the drink". Other times they fall into the trap of "lowest common denominator humor". But there has been a big backlash against them recently, and they are starting to come out with more intelligent ads.

          There's also t

          • Money opens up a lot of options creatively, and while the most creative stuff is not always big budget, it certainly doesn't hurt.

            Good point. To be more specific, the two best beer commercials (from my point of view and others I know of) that I have seen was the one at the last superbowl with the soldiers walking down the Airport Terminal and people start to clap and one more recently with this guys house that had his Christmass lights timed to "Wizards of Winter" (among other songs). Here's a link to a
            • The Xmas lights one is interesting. I am a huge fan of viral ads, and that happens to be my area of expertise. I've seen web trends travel to TV before (Quiznos?) but this was done in a very interesting way. They took the high quality video which wasn't available on the web (thus adding value to the experience) and didn't do anything to alter it other than add their tagline at the end thus linking it to the brand.

              This did something very interesting...if the viewer had seen it previously, and attributed i

  • >"It's clearly a large campaign, and deserves a thoughtful, measured response,' he wrote on his blog. 'Here's mine: corporate graffiti sucks.'"

    To which I would add: "Sony Sucks!"

  • Donald Trump already did this on The Apprentice, but I'm sure that they had purchased the ad space for it. I think it was for Gran Turismo...
    • Re:You're Fired! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MBraynard (653724)
      They purchased this space, too.

      The problem for this Rent cast member, living in SOHO of all places and complaining about 'corporate billboards', is that someone actually got paid to put this up, rather than being your typical crack head putting it up, which would be A-OK with him.

  • by smaffei (565629) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @09:29PM (#14355301)
    The approximately 380 murders that have occurred in Philadelphia in 2005.

    We have more murders here "per capita" than New York City. I can stand the "little sony dudes" murals if there wasn't a person being killed by gunfire every day in the streets.
  • by Luigi30 (656867) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @09:53PM (#14355412)
    Exec #1: Well, our ads aren't getting enough people to buy our PSPs. What can we do?
    Exec #2: We can improve the product, give it better battery life, better screen, like Nintendo did with the GBA SP!
    (All execs laugh at him.)
    Exec #3: We could try to keep it real in the hizzouse with graffiti! We'd license space on corporate buildings and spraypaint these awesome tags on the wall! We'd be the hippest gangstas on the planet and get more urban punks to buy our stuff!
    Exec #1: Marvelous idea! We'll do that, whatever he said.
    Exec #2: WTF.
  • by Paul Slocum (598127) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @10:30PM (#14355609) Homepage Journal
    It's a billboard in slightly different kind of ink. Big deal. If you haven't previously noticed that advertising can be deceptive, cheapen the arts, and degrade the aesthetics of our living spaces, then you have been numbed.
    • It's a billboard in slightly different kind of ink. Big deal. If you haven't previously noticed that advertising can be deceptive, cheapen the arts, and degrade the aesthetics of our living spaces, then you have been numbed.

      So I guess your position is that we've lost the war and should just give up. Who's the one that's been numbed again?

      Some of us would like to keep our streets clean, and keep the advertising in areas where it's, you know, allowed. The issue this article is talking about is putting adver
      • It's a billboard in slightly different kind of ink. Big deal. If you haven't previously noticed that advertising can be deceptive, cheapen the arts, and degrade the aesthetics of our living spaces, then you have been numbed.

        So I guess your position is that we've lost the war and should just give up. Who's the one that's been numbed again?

        Maybe, but I think it's more likely that the parent was comparing modern billboard advertising to the Sonyfitti in order to drag both down to the lowest level.

        Some

      • You can sell your wall space to an artist for non-commercial art. You cannot sell your wall space for commercial use in most cases. That's the difference, and if you can't see it, then it's you that's been numbed to what's acceptable and what isn't.

        You mean, to what's legal, and what isn't. Personally, the concept of commercial art doesn't offend me. I prefer it to a blank wall, especially if they're making an attempt to be artistic. If you get all offended with it, maybe you just need to relax your s

  • I noticed on my commute to work the other day that there was a ridiculous, even offensive number of advertisements all over the place on the way. The roads are littered with ads, on highwayside billboards, roadside billboards, sandwich signs outside stores, and even gaudy storefronts themselves. Surely legal graffiti (meaning: the space was paid for, so it's just like a billboard) is no less crass.
  • I would hate to see what people would be saying if Microsoft did this for the 360, it would have made the main page, and have alot more posts all pissed at MS.
    • by arkanes (521690)
      Microsoft did a similiar thing a couple years ago, placing "stick on" MSN butterflies all over the sidewalks in Manhattan, except there they really were illegal cause they hadn't licensed anything from anyone. And there was almost exactly the same amount of distaste over the advertising.
  • Whiners and graffiti elitists and ghetto wannabes suck more than corporate (i.e., consentual) graffiti. The businesses agreed to host advertisements on their walls. Whether it was spray cans or posters portraying the message, Sony is just spending its advertising dollars. As much as you hate to admit it, ballerz and poserz and playaz and playa-hataz all want Sony's PSP. They all already have PS2's and talk shit about how badass they are at Madden or Soul Calibur or Gran Turismo and they're all eager to
  • I guess this tells us how Sony feels about product placement.
  • "You're an idiot"

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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