Sony's PSP Promo Site Outed
A website called All I Want for Xmas is a PSP (defunct for the time being) launched last month; it was a simple plan by two friends to coerce one of the boy's parents to get him a PSP for Christmas. The little blog included all kinds of stuff: PSP-oriented greeting cards, iron-on T-shirt patterns and icons, and even some YouTube videos featuring homemade songs about the PSP.
Like most sites, it didn't exactly make a big splash...until yesterday, when someone on the Something Awful forums noticed there was more to the site than met the eye. The graphics used in those pretty T-shirt models seemed awfully advanced for two young boys, and there were a few official-sounding terms like, "PSP Entertainment Pack."
Turns out, the site had been registered with Zipatoni, a marketing firm that includes "interruptive buzz marketing" amongst its sevices, and just so happens to have Sony as a client. Word of this news spread like wildfire, and the site was soon assaulted with upset viewers and consumers.
So today, the site's true owners came clean, yanking the YouTube videos and erasing the comments sections, then finally admitting the entire thing was a sham. In a recent update attributed to SCEA, one particularly comical message read-
"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. From this point forward, we will just stick to making cool products, and use this site to give you nothing but the facts on the PSP."
Looks like they're trying anything to increase PSP sales, and this is hardly the first time Sony advertising took the bizarre route. Last year, a street graffiti campaign seemingly popped up overnight, as sidwalks and buildings covered with wide-eyed kids playing the PSP suddenly began to appear in New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles. A New York politician got a bit miffed, and immediately called for Sony to stop the ads, and pay $20,000 to the city's anti-graffiti program (did you know they had one?)
A Sony representative told GameSpot earlier that they just wanted to create the blog "as a humorous site targeting those interested in getting a PSP system this holiday season." But Sony has agreed to drop the charade and simply promote the site in a straightforward manner; i.e., promoting the PSP, plain and simple.
12/14/2006 Ben Dutka