Monday, December 05, 2005

Major Corporation: -1 Counter-Culture: +1

I recently came across this great article in wired news which documents an attempt by the media giant Sony, to do guerilla advertising and successfully turn it in their direction.

Needless to say Sony, you have failed.

In this case, trying to reinvent the wheel is a disaster for you Sony. You have jumped on board instead, to the counter-culture ride and now you will pay. As your billboards continue to be graffitied over due to the fact that you are impeding on the only form of expression some in the city have - you will see your profits fall. You will see your measily handheld games dropped in the cracks of society, and destroyed, deficated upon, and spit back out as a glorifying victory for many in the counter-culture world.

It is a shame your expensive advertising executives could not have told you of the new resurgence in society taking place right now: the march to take back the streets. The napalm of the Billboard Liberation Front is working, and if you fight it, you will merely fuel the flames more. What can you do now? How can you fight a cause which is not limited by the very laws you pay lawyers thousands of dollars per minute to uphold in your favor, who are masters of dancing around technicalities and sheer overpowerment? You fight the under-culture on two fronts - in the streets, and in the world of the net - where your corporate culture dares not roam too far away from the mainstream sites. How can you fight a cause which has no political voice - but rather - a cultural voice, willing to pop up at midnight and destroy your tactless ads and self indulgent capitalist greed? The voice comes back another night, and another, as you have provide the resounding voice of the real counter-culture with an indefinate amount of options the more you fight it. Meanwhile, in another realm, the downloader, continues to steal your overpriced food - that you try to hoard and control.

Add this to an already failed campaign to distribute virus infected cds to millions of buyers, and your "street cred" is failing miserably.

Sony, just admit nobody wants to buy your pointless handheld gaming systems just like nobody wanted to buy your useless - remarketed - old version of PS One which paled in comparison and yet was almost as expensive of a PS Two system.

Your professional advertisers are failing, and you are finding yourself up against a wall as your developers so far are unable to unleash anything good. Add this to the fact that X-Box has managed to release a stellar console before you and the pressure has increased. Add the fact that many are converting to the X-Box simply because of the good graphics despite the fact that many of these converts used to resist the temptations of X-Box due to big microsoft sentiments and the fact that games were so expensive.

Did you predict this trend? Did you think your rebellious users would convert to better quality?

The fact of the matter is: society is uncontrollable and there aren't any set rules in the long run. Your iteritive strategy of message announcement will fail. Art, culture, and life cannot be held down by your rules in the long run, when your rules are made to benefit yourself. Therefore, rather than trying to control society with your messages - how about actually creating something that people will enjoy?

Isn't this the goal, capitalism was intended to accomplish originally?

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