Consumer electronics giant Sony can surely afford to hire the sharpest brains around. How, then, do we explain the sheer Jeffdamned awfulness of its new online marketing campaign?
Aimed at reinforcing Sony as a leader in quality and spurring consumer demand for holiday shopping, Sony Electronics today launched its new integrated marketing campaign, it says here.
Exactly who sat in a meeting room at Sony Central and thought this was a good idea, let alone why they still have a job, remains a mystery. The campaign breaks with two 30-second commercials, Ping Pong (two versions) airing nationwide, along with a new campaign web site.
While Sony says the campaign theme centers on Sony quality as a key point of differentiation that informs the decision-making process at retail, and ultimately leads consumers to purchase a Sony product, we say it just looks like a bunch of people we've never heard of sitting at a table.
"Consumers have questions when buying electronics - that's why we put together a panel of experts," said Stuart Redsun, senior vice president, marketing at Sony, who must surely be looking for a new job, as should be Sony's advertising agency 180 Los Angeles.
Sony's panel of 'celebrity' 'experts' assist consumers in choosing Sony products by pointing out how the brand differs from its competitors. Humor is consistently used to demystify electronics and connect with viewers, we are reliably informed.
The panel of computer experts includes Indianapolis Colts quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning and Grammy and Emmy -award winning Jive/Sony Music artist Justin Timberlake. Rounding out the list are: ESPN reporter, Erin Andrews; fashion photographer and "America's Next Top Model" judge, Nigel Barker; author and comedienne, Amy Sedaris; columnist and Web celebrity, Julia Allison; and award-winning cinematographer, Dion Beebe.
In one of the hilarious Ping Pong spots, Peyton and Justin play ping pong, bantering back and forth while speaking Chinese, while expert Erin Andrews espouses the benefits of a Sony Bravia TV.
"The campaign tells a simple truth," said William Gelner, presumably soon-to-be-ex executive creative director for 180 Los Angeles. "Behind all Sony electronics is a rich history of sports and entertainment. So we had two of the biggest icons from those two worlds, Peyton Manning and Justin Timberlake, tell that story."
The only simple truth self-evident from where we're sitting is that 180 Los Angeles has no qualms in billing Sony for delivering an embarrassment of riches, err, sorry, delete 'of riches'.
But please don't just take our word for it. Point your browsers over here and experience the sheer, toe-curling awfulness of it all.
It is - and this takes some doing - even worse than the Microsoft Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld ads.
[bass sting goes here]