Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Have you been following the latest fake blog story? This time it's Sony with a PlayStation blog. And it's so mind-numbingly bad that I was convinced at first that the whole thing was a hoax to make Sony looks bad.

Sadly, no. Go look at the blog, if you dare; I will warn you that it's painful. It claims to be the blog of a kid who wants a PlayStation for Christmas; somehow, creating a blog is supposed to make this happen.

It's written in a painful attempt at youth-speak:

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.

The whole thing has the feeling of 40-something exec loosening his tie and trying to sound like he's down with the young folks. It's just awful.

The whole atrocity was put together by an agency called Zipatoni, who pulled the bright move of leaving their name visibly on the site registration, so people could quickly see the whole thing was a put-on. (For extra fun, check out the agency's site, with its incomprehensible Flash navigation and assorted sounds. Is it 1999 again?)

As AdRants reports, when confronted with this, the imaginary blogger then denied it:

...the blog commenters are not amused and "Charlie's" defense of the blog is even less amusing. In reaction to commenter's complaints, "Charlie" writes, "yo where all u hatas com from... juz cuz you aint feelin the flow of PSP dun mean its sum mad faek website or summ... youall be trippin."

Just reading it makes me feel like my eyes are bleeding. (I feel like I'm 13 and I'm trying to disappear because my dad is trying to be really cool and relate to my friends, and it's too embarrassing to bear.)

The content is a case study in how to reveal that you're a fake. The blogger is supposed to be some kid, but nearly every post is a music download or interactive feature. (Where is this kid getting this stuff?) I especially like how "he" drops out of his hip hop speak to provide download instructions for both Macs and PCs. (Do teenagers need to be told how to download a music file from a link, anyway?)

And the thing is, it's inexcusable. Blogs are relatively new, but they are not that new, and it's incomprehensible to me that anybody at Sony could have thought this was a good idea. Or that nobody at the agency, which I'm sure was collecting a nice fee to provide Sony with their "expertise," ever said, "Wait, folks; this is not how blogs work, and this is a really bad idea. "

It's even worse coming after the flap about the fake blogs that Edelman created for Wal-Mart; that should have been a warning sign for everybody. But you know what? The Wal-Mart blogs weren't nearly as bad as this. At least Walmart paid actual people to write blogs in their own voices; their sin was hiding the sponsorship.

The PlayStation blog is just a complete fabrication, and a tone-deaf, insulting one at that.

I'm not fond of grandiose statements about how all marketing is changing and traditional marketers are becoming obsolete; I think that the good old basics still are pretty important, particularly if you're a B2B marketer.

But things like this make me think that yes, some traditional marketers are already obsolete. And apparently some of them are responsible for Sony's marketing.

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