Sony Corporation has adopted a syllogism for its advertising campaign for the PSP, a handheld video-game player beloved by slackers everywhere: Teenagers like video games. Teenagers think that stupid, risky stuff is cool.
Therefore, our ad campaign will be risky. And stupid.
This principle was first embodied by the faux-graffiti ads adorning the sides of buildings in New York and elsewhere. The ads managed to enrage both politicians, who said they promoted graffiti, and graffiti artists, who said they epitomized the sellout of their art form.
But Sony's "risky is cool, huh huh" mindset really hit its peak in the Netherlands, where it ran ads promoting the new white-colored PSP by - brainstorm for a moment - showing a scowling white woman grabbing the face of a humbled black woman.
Brilliant. They certainly won the skinhead demographic over. But the company had to pull the ad last week after complaints from the NAACP. Sony apologized and explained, for those who missed the ad's subtlety, that it was designed to highlight the difference between the black PSP and the, uh, white one.
On behalf of the world's 3.8 billion Asians, we say: God forbid Sony releases a yellow one.
3. On the right track