From time to time at Consumerist we like to take a look back at comically antiquated ads from the long-ago past, gawking at their abruptness and racial insensitivity. But thanks to the magic of Sony and its colossal failure in an attempt to be “edgy” and “viral” while marketing the PSP, we need only look back to 2004-2006 to bask in the glory of badvertising.
In its obituary of the PSP, which will be replaced this year by the device currently known as the NGP, video game magazine Game Informer rounds up several laughably poor efforts by Sony to spread the word about its handheld debut.
Sony’s ad agencies failed at many junctures, releasing an ill-advised fake viral campaign about a guy who wanted to help people get PSPs for Christmas, placing a billboard in the Netherlands featuring a white woman grabbing a black woman by the jaw to advertise the new white PSP, and topping it off with a pair of spots that used questionable racial stereotyping.
Our favorite here at Consumerist was the painfully bad “All I Want For XMas is A PSP” campaign featuring extremely authentic “blog posts” like this one:
here’s the deal::: i (charlie) have a psp. my friend jeremy does not. but he wants one this year for xmas. 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! 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. we’ll let you know how it works for us. pls return the favor.
On top of all that goodness, there’s also the time Sony paid graffiti artists to put up images of people playing with PSPs on city walls, drawing a cease-and-desist letter from the city of Philadelphia, as well as a poster placed in UK subway stations that advised people to “take a running jump here.”
Here’s an embed of the fake viral video featuring the PSP-for-Christmas guy:
After the mess was over, Sony tried to recover with this gem:
Busted. Nailed. Snagged. As many of you have figured out (maybe our speech was a little too funky fresh???), Peter isn’t a real hip-hop maven and this site was actually developed by Sony. Guess we were trying to be just a little too clever.
Happens to the best of us.
Looking Back On The PSP [Game Informer]