Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sony, Your Marketing Dept. Wins

For months, word was circulating on the Internet that Sony was planning a PS3 Slim. First, the rumors of a price drop. Then, people claimed they’d seen PS3 Slim hardware orders in Korea. The blogosphere and its big brother People Who Actually Get Paid were going insane trying to navigate Sony’s repeated chants of “We’re not price-dropping! We’re not using magical elves to summon PS3 Slim parts from the Other Side!” Alas, it happened. The PS3 Slim is real, and it looks like Sony finally faced the music.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t poke fun at the hullaballoo, right? Check out their most recent promo for the console rerelease.

The genius of this spot is that it not only takes shots at the blogosphere (I applaud the casting of a Jonah Hill look-alike to play a “Rumor Monger”), but at Sony’s own stubborn execs. Drowning in signs announcing the new price, a Sony spokesman trumpets the features they’ve long been hoping would sell their Blu-ray-playing Foreman grill. In combining self-parody and a concise message, the ad nimbly tiptoes across the same high-wire Stephen Colbert regularly strides whenever he mocks the very act of product placement (while simultaneously advertising said product).

Nice work, Sony. I bet you’re wishing you’d been this clever three years ago.

EDIT: I wrote this brief yesterday, after just seeing the spot on TV. Turns out that a clever jab at spam mail by the ad’s Sony exec (“You can't believe everything you read on the internet. Otherwise, I'd be a Nigerian millionaire by now.") angered the Nigerian government. People need to realize who's being made fun of before getting all upset over a reference to an email meme.