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Sony Entertainment Games

Sony Behind Fake YouTube Viral Campaign 284

Posted by Zonk
from the you-are-not-'street'-sony dept.
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.
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Sony Behind Fake YouTube Viral Campaign

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  • by nephillim (980798)
    ... 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.
    • by fistfullast33l (819270) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:34AM (#17207414) Homepage Journal
      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?
      • by AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:53AM (#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: (Score:3, Funny)

        by hexix (9514)
        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?

      • by Doomstalk (629173)
        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.
      • by Lisandro (799651) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @11:39AM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Ryan Amos (16972)
          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.
        • by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @01:03PM (#17209986)
          You are right. Those other people are wrong. What if Sony just made up fake movie reviews, or music reviews. They have actually done this and gotten in big trouble for it. They invented a fictional movie reviewer and plastered fake quotations (ie "The best film I've seen all year!!!") on their movie posters. TOTALLY 100% WRONG. This is no different. The consumer has a right to know what is an ad and what is not.
        • by brkello (642429)
          How is it any different than if they show an ad of someone on TV that really wants a PSP? It is pretty obvious when they do this stuff because the pages are too well setup for a normal person. It is deception, but it isn't a scam. A scam would be if you send them money for a PSP and they just took your money. This is just...well, marketing. It really doesn't make a difference. Maybe someone somewhere buys products based off this sort of thing. I don't buy things based on some random person's (fake or
        • "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."

          So this is unlike all advertising, how exactly?

          Do supermodels really eat at mcdonalds? Does the hot 19 year old who gets picked up by the 55 year old in his bimmer really want to sleep with him when shes not getting paid? This guy was paid to say he likes the psp. If it helps your mind any, for the right amount of money lies can become

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by scot4875 (542869)
            Why is this so hard to understand?

            When you see the hot model on TV eating McDonalds (lately it's just been a group of racially diverse trendy-looking idiots smiling while they eat the garbage) you KNOW that it's an ad.

            With an astroturfing campaign like this, you don't know whether or not it's a genuine fan site or if it's Sony-sponsored. This site even goes so far as to display an image that says "this is not an ad."

            Can you seriously not see the difference? The first ad is clearly a McDonalds ad -- they j
      • by soft_guy (534437)
        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.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)
          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.

          • by soft_guy (534437)

            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: (Score:3, Funny)

              by drinkypoo (153816)
              If 9 is the kool-aid, then 7 is a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun in your mouth spraying your brains across the ceiling.
              • by creimer (824291)
                Mac OS X "Leopard" supposed to be LSD? Sweet!
              • by soft_guy (534437)

                If 9 is the kool-aid, then 7 is a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun in your mouth spraying your brains across the ceiling.
                System 7 was very good for the time when it was released.
      • by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @12:40PM (#17209580) Homepage
        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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        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 would have to disagree with you on this because,
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          Okay stop drinking the kool-aid. Here's a nice article from IGN [ign.com] on a viral-marketing campaign by Sony in 2000. Promoting what game? Perfect Dark [ign.com]. Where does the site DataDyne.com point to now? Rare [datadyne.com], developer of Perfect Dark. Everyone's reaction? Smartest thing ever!!!!!! So, when one company uses a little bit of hidden marketing it's perfectly fine, but when another more evil company does it, it's the end of the world and we need to protect the children.
    • by aendeuryu (844048) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:42AM (#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.
    • by Aladrin (926209) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:43AM (#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.
      • by jandrese (485)
        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?
    • by mike260 (224212)
      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).
    • 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: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by hal2814 (725639)
        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.
    • 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.
    • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:58AM (#17207776) Homepage
      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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by brkello (642429)
        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
    • ...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.
      • by teh_chrizzle (963897) <kill-9 AT hobbiton DOT org> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @12:01PM (#17208900) Homepage
        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.

    • by PingSpike (947548)
      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 m
    • by Pojut (1027544)
      You are somewhat wrong. Most of the time you see a drug commercial not say what it does, that is because it has not yet been approved or has it's approval pending by the FDA. They are not legally allowed to tell you what it does in a commercial unless it has been fully tested and approved by the FDA.

      Now, a pharmaceutical company can choose to not tell you what it does, although that is rare (there are some out there that do it on a regular basis though...never quite understood that)
  • by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:22AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thatguywhoiam (524290)

      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 (

      • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          "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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by thatguywhoiam (524290)
          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.)

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        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 pret

        • 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!

          Hmm, I guess it depends on your personal definition. Personally, I separate 'cool' from 'hyped' but perhaps you have a point as far as the general public goes.

          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 U

          • by drinkypoo (153816)
            I don't actually care all that much, all I'm saying is that I wouldn't want to try to make a comparison of success without knowing what each platform costs to put on the shelf and how many games are sold for each (on average) as well.
      • 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
        • You don't need to be the best selling videogame product to be considered a success, but you do need to have a lot of good videogames which the PSP really doesn't; the PSP has been on the market for almost 2 years and only has 1 game (Lumines) ranked at over 90% on gamerankings.com and only has 3 games to break a million sales worldwide

          Not over 90, sure. But your comparison is one-sided. Here is the data from metacritic:

          PSP Top 10 With Scores

          1. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops - 89%
          2 Lumines- 89%
          3 Wi

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Not over 90, sure. But your comparison is one-sided. Here is the data from metacritic:

            Actually, if you noticed I was pretty balanced and looked at both game sales and game ratings; the fact is that game reviews are largely subjective and represent how well a game apeals to the core-gamer demographic, game sales represent how a game apeals to to the masses. I also have been trying not to directly compare the PSP to the Nintendo DS, mainly because the Nintendo DS is one of the fastest selling consoles in the
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ZackSchil (560462)
        The GC was cheaper than the competition and had occasional must-have titles. That's the best part about even Nintendo's biggest failures, they're usually lower priced and have enough good games from first party alone by mid-life to justify the purchase.

        Sony isn't exactly a powerhouse developer and their hardware is more expensive. Sony platforms live or die by third party support and for whatever reason, the software sales never came and 3rd party support is drying up. Calling the PSP a dead platform is
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Total_Wimp (564548)
      I try not to get pissed reading /. and I'm not sure why this post is an exception. Perhaps the post itself is innocent/naive enough, but it was the "informative" mods that set me over the edge.

      #1. Everyone in gaming wants you to think their stuff if cool. Everyone. It's nice if the reason you think it's cool has something to do with quality, but in the end, that's not an absolute necessity. Question, which one was it, the GBA, or the DS that Nintendo purposely set out to look uncool? Neither? Well, t
    • by brkello (642429)
      I think Sony's strategy is to sell the PSP...just like Nintendo's strategy with the DS and GBA. You are wrong and you are right. The PSP is an excellent gaming machine. There just hasn't been a hit/must-have game to come out on it. Nintendo has a lot more control since it has a lot stronger first party development than Sony. Every idiot on this forum knows that the games sell the product. You somehow think Sony doesn't know this? All they can really do is try to sell as many portables as possible mak
  • by Otter (3800) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:45AM (#17207594) Journal
    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 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:57AM (#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 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @11:14AM (#17208020) Journal
      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.
      • 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 "coo
    • Re:The Apple way (Score:5, Insightful)

      by urbanradar (1001140) <timothyfielding@NoSPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @11:19AM (#17208086) Homepage
      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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by JonLatane (750195)
      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
      • by Khuffie (818093)
        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.

    • by TomHandy (578620)
      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.

      • by soft_guy (534437)
        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 surprise
    • 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 me

    • by Triv (181010)
      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, ev

    • 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
    • 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 crea

    • by greysky (136732)
      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 ow
    • I got my iPod in 2001. Yes, it was really superior to everything out there at the time. It held more than a 128mb Rio flash player and was tiny in comparison to the Nomad Jukebox. It was more expensive and didn't have as much storage, but on the other hand file transfer was 10x faster, UI navigation was faster, and battery life was better.

      It's not my fault that Creative couldn't come out with a competitor (The Zen) until 2004, three years later.

      The hype and the cool and the hip came years later. Without a c
  • by MaWeiTao (908546) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @11:52AM (#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.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      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.

  • by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @11:53AM (#17208728) Homepage
    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.
  • Critique (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MeanderingMind (884641) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @12:03PM (#17208942) Homepage Journal
    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
  • In fact, I am pretty sure more than a few "reviews" on Slashdot are just paid advertising.
  • This is the sort of stuff that I have issues with on community oriented sites now that businesses have infiltrated them. YouTube should threaten to take this crap down since Sony is essentially offloading the filehosting capabilities onto YouTube for this stuff. I feel the same way when I see a movie or album advert on tv now with a URL directing to its MySpace page. These are supposed to be sites to build communities around, not a freaking marketing section of the web.
  • Quick, look and see if there are any comments posted by EarlDittman!
  • by SloWave (52801) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @02:02PM (#17210936) Journal
    After looking at the site I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Do middle school kids really talk and act like that today or is this just some marketing dweebs wet dream. No other middle school generation could've ever been this dorky as what I saw on Sony's web site.

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