Random building in Japan looks just like PlayStation 3 console

By David Kiefaber on Mon Aug 9 2010


The Namba Parks building, an office/shopping complex/rooftop park in Osaka, Japan, can't exactly lay claim to much Western press attention. Until now, anyway. After four years, people are finally noticing that the multi-story complex looks eerily like the original PlayStation 3 console. The Sun notes that Namba Parks predates Sony's finicky magic box by three years, so it's not like they had that look in mind when they built it. And we're guessing Sony didn't look to Namba for inspiration either, so the whole thing is probably just a weird coincidence. Less coincidental is the building's sudden fame, which parallels the PS3's hard-drive upgrades in making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Any excuse to rag on Sony is a good one for some people, and the "PS3 Towers" just happened to be available. The next time something goes wrong, it might be this Shanghai building's turn in the spotlight.

Sony Pictures' Jersey Shore buy was worth a lot of fazools

By T.L. Stanley on Thu Aug 5 2010
MTV-JerseyShore-girls Is there any reason to think that Jersey Shore won't keep up its staggering ratings after leaping out of the gate last week with a record-breaking premiere? Nah. It's a winner, at least for now. (The launch drew 5.3 million viewers, nearly a 300 percent increase from its first season opening, according to our brother blog, The Live Feed). And Snooki and The Situation aren't the only ones likely to be thrilled with this development. MTV and its advertisers, especially Sony Pictures, have to be pretty pleased, too. The studio bought giant blocks of ads during the premiere, along with banter from the cast and other integration, making its coming attractions the only movies advertised during the hour. Will the fact that J-Woww declared that The Other Guys looks like a decent comedy drive more people to the multiplex? (The Social Network,were among the other flicks to get plugs). Tough to predict, but it was a shrewd marketing move, one that other Hollywood studios had to be kicking themselves for not making once they saw how many of us sat glued to the tube on Thursday night. (Angelina's back? Cat fight!) Far from being the pariah that some might've expected, Jersey Shore's a brand bonanza. Now just wait for the merchandise wave to crest. Vinny bobbleheads, anybody?

Sony, News Corp. extend tradition of watching the news in public

By Robert Klara on Tue Jul 13 2010


At a time when millions of New Yorkers prefer to listen to their news (or news podcasts) within their own personal digital cocoons, it's worth remembering that the biggest media events of the 20th century were consumed collectively, in crowds, while we stood on the sidewalk. 
  When Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, thousands of people found out by watching the famous "Zipper" in Times Square. And in February 1962, when John Glenn became the first human to orbit the Earth, 4,000 people packed the floors of Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street to watch the event on a 12-by-16-foot screen that CBS had set up over the ticket counter. People could just as easily have gotten this news from newspapers, radio or (in Glenn's case) TV, but there's something about sharing the news with a crowd that helps to stamp it on our national consciousness.
  Technology usually does a great job of killing tradition, but it's nice to see the old days aren't quite over yet. Sony and News Corp. just announced they'll partner to mount a massive 35-by-40-foot digital LED screen in the middle of Times Square at Broadway and West 43rd Street. Sure, the high-resolution color monitor is a commercial venture—it'll show movie trailers and commercials, no doubt for murderous rates—but the programming, we're told, will also include news. Even better, the response on the street won't be limited to muttering and elbow jabs. Viewers below will be able to reply to poll questions via text message, with the results displayed overhead in real time.
  One can only wonder what those responses might have looked like for an event like D-Day or the Cold War marvel of a space orbit. Well, Sony, while we know you did this to make a fortune, thanks for carrying on a tradition just the same.


Sony 3-D televisions are great, but do not take off those glasses

Posted on Fri Jun 18 2010

Warning: Don't take off your 3-D glasses. Otherwise, you'll fall flat. At least, that's what happens in this new spot promoting Sony's 3-D televisions. In the ad, from agency 180, football star Peyton Manning and pop sensation Justin Timberlake get a guided tour of Sony's 3D-enhancing movie, PlayStation and sports programming capabilities. As they walk around the super-high-tech room, they express their admiration for the new technologies until—no!—Mr. Bringing Sexy Back takes off his 3-D glasses. Oh, the horror! Both Timberlake and Manning instantly collapse into 2-D, as does everything else in the room. (Can't say their sultry hot tour guide didn't warn them!) Fortunately, due to their athletic and dancing abilities, both bounce back. "You haven't seen 3-D until you've seen it on a Sony," says the voiceover. Uh-huh.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

One small step for man, one giant leap for Sony Vaio computers

Posted on Tue Mar 2 2010

If you believe they put a man on the moon, you might be interested to know that the Sony Vaio laptops of today have more processing power than the first rocket to complete the 1969 moon landing did. Using that bit of information as a springboard for a teachable moment/social-media event, Sony and Intel have launched The Rocket Project, a program in which eight students and technologist entrepreneur Tom Atchison will attempt to use a Vaio computer to launch a 25-foot, 500-plus-pound rocket, though this one will go only to the stratosphere, not the moon. The crew is currently working on the launch, which is set for April 12. In the meantime, 180LA has put together this video to generate excitement. None of this, however, addresses the nagging question: If they can put a man on the moon with this stuff, why does my browser freak out when I have too many windows open?

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Would you like Sony to blast your town with sound at all hours?

Posted on Tue Oct 20 2009

Every once in a while, a commercial comes along that's completely puzzling. Sony's "Soundville" video above, for instance, leaves me scratching my head for several reasons. The idea was to hire Juan "Cadbury Gorilla " Cabral, the Argentine commercial director, to show how Sony's speakers can enliven drab surroundings. Cabral pulled off a similar feat for Sony in 2006, when he set off dozens of huge paint jets to color a Glasgow housing project. But here, he and Fallon London have picked Seydisfjordur, a small village in Iceland, to attempt the same idea with acoustics. While I think the intent is to see this and think "the power of music," instead I thought "martial law." I also wondered how the villagers felt about having music piped in at all hours. I'm not the only one. Creative Review in the U.K., for one noted: "It does beg the question about what scenes were left on the cutting-room floor however, with the villagers appearing to relish the sound intrusion in their lives (with the odd expression of surprise), rather than reacting in the angry way one might expect when your village gets taken over by an ad agency." Also, why Iceland? I mean, I know this wouldn't work the same in, say, Rio, but haven't these Icelanders suffered enough recently?

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Sony hopes you'll start laughing with the PlayStation 3, not at it

Posted on Fri Aug 28 2009

It's hard to say if Sony has learned its lesson from its disastrous 2006 launch of PlayStation 3 (the item has cost Sony more than $3 billion so far), but at least the company has kept what AdFreak has called the funniest man in commercials on board for a new fall campaign. The ads, breaking Sept. 1, were previewed on PlayStation's blog yesterday. It appears the company knows its audience, including a tubby computer geek identified as a "rumor monger" who is trying to confirm the item's new $299 price point. "You can't believe everything you read on the Internet," says the Funniest Man. "Otherwise I'd be a Nigerian millionaire right now." Despite the denials, FM is surrounded by signs announcing the $299 price point. Another spot shows an "unsatisfied girlfriend" who complains that her boyfriend hasn't hooked the PS3 to the Internet. "What's wrong with him?!" bellows FM. So far, so good, Sony. Now, don't screw it up this time.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Sony's social-media addicts suffer (and cause) psychic distress

Posted on Thu Aug 20 2009

Another rehab for Amy Winehouse to avoid. In this pointlessly long ad for the Sony Vaio W Series notebook, members of the Social Media Addicts Association meet in a gymnasium to share stories about hitting rock bottom and fighting the temptation of Facebook, Twitter, etc. Don't worry, it's no tear-jerker. It's also not much of a laugh-jerker, even with a supporting Web site dedicated to the fake AA-style group. When the new Vaio is finally introduced at the end of the spot (if you stuck around that long), the copy says the computer is "Not approved by S.M.A.A.," presumably because it's a good vehicle to enable such a severe affliction. Two and a half minutes for that? I wish I'd spent my time Tweeting.

—Posted by Elana Glowatz

Sony set to revolutionize the way electronics irritate consumers

Posted on Tue Feb 24 2009

Poor Sony. The inventor of the Walkman missed out on the iPod revolution and is now getting pummeled by no-name brands in the consumer-electronics category. Now, as an extra slap in the face, this video from the Onion News Network has gotten close to 1 million views on YouTube alone in about two weeks. (It's also posted in the video section of The Onion's Web site.) Without giving too much away, let's just say it plays on the idea that electronics gizmos often don't work the way they should, and that this causes some, shall we say, pent-up anger among consumers. You could substitute almost any brand here, but Sony gets singled out, undoing millions in advertising, no doubt.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Wannabe Kim Catralls seen wandering the city streets for Sony

Posted on Mon Feb 2 2009


You're going about your day when suddenly you see something out of place: It's a strikingly beautiful mannequin. Only something's different. She's alive! And she's holding a Sony Vaio P Series laptop, motioning for you to join her! Is this a scene for a remake of the movie Mannequin? Thankfully, no. It's Sony's guerrilla Fashion Week effort, which AdFreak wrote about on launch day last Friday. Ten mannequins/models will be posing in New York City train stations, cafes and other locations through Feb. 14. They'll all be IM-ing, blogging or updating their Facebook pages on the new lightweight Sony computer. Perhaps they will be reading BrandFreak.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein




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