Sony goes white



The picture above features Sony’s PlayStation Portable advertisement. The advertisement managed to court controversy from across the globe, soon after its release. The controversy focused around whether this ad had a racist undertone to it. A white woman fixes a black woman with a decidedly hostile look and it almost seems like she tries to kill the black woman in the picture. The white woman is portrayed as being so powerful that the black woman isn’t able to pose any resistance to her whatsoever. Many people felt that the ad signaled racial discrimination quite blatantly. What’s more, most potential consumers of Sony’s PSP are young people, and the racial implication would hurt black teenagers and cause a very negative influence on their sense of worth. It could lead to white children considering themselves to be superior to black children and also bullying black children more often.

Apart from the demerit mentioned above, we also think that this advertisement is a reverse side case of model’s pose. The model painted in white could scare young kids. Many parents would also take offense to this picture as it portrays violence which could lead to kids imitating model and resorting to violence more often in daily life.

Sony revoked this advertisement after more and more people hammered it, and apologized for its mistake. Sony though, insisted that they just wanted to promote their white PlayStation Portable by using this picture, and never had any other purpose. This picture emphasizes contrast of color between the new edition PSP and the old edition with black appearance. And if someone questioned if the horrible picture would impact young people negatively, maybe Sony would claim that they only wanted to attract young people by using a cool picture!

This advertisement was showcased on billboards for only six weeks. But due to viral nature of the Internet, and the controversy caused by this ad, it is still being circulated around the web. We would say that this is an effective advertisement as it attracted the attention of many consumers. To some extent, it broke the local restrictions of outdoor advertisement. This new edition of the PSP became widely popular. At the end of this blog, we question whether making the controversial advertisement is an approach of Sony to promote its product, although the company firmly asserted that the original idea of this advertisement was simply to convey the information about the new PSP.

Written by Kaiyu Xiong


1. Ludwig Kietzmann (2006). Sony pulls controversial PSP ads

2. Christopher Grant (2006). Ad critic: Sony’s racially charged PSP ad


Diesel following rivals?


Advertisements often stretch the social and ethical boundaries of creativity. While advertisers generally pride themselves on designing ads that are meant to positively influence their target audience, they sometimes do so by not keeping in mind the negative social consequences that their ads might result in. Diesel, the well-renowned Italian fashion-giant, launched an ad campaign titled “Smart May Have The Brains, But Stupid Has The Balls. Be Stupid, Diesel.”, a few years ago. The poster featured above was one in a series of many such ads that were released during the campaign. The ad was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for being indecent and promoting anti-social behavior. [1]

We find the ad to be offensive to the youth and especially young women. A lot of parents would also feel uncomfortable seeing youngsters indulging themselves that way. The ad has been presented in an indecent manner and carries an overtly sexual theme. Diesel might have tried to imitate some of its rivals such as Benetton and French Connection, that have used the art of shock advertising in many of their previous campaigns. The ad also stereotypes women by showing the young woman in the ad as a sexually provocative figure. We will discuss each of these aspects in more detail: [1]


The  theme of the campaign, “Smart May Have The Brains, But Stupid Has The Balls. Be Stupid, Diesel.”, seems to celebrate wild and inappropriate behavior. It almost encourages youngsters to be stupid and participate in activities that might get them into serious trouble. The young woman in the poster is shown to have climbed up a ladder in order to flash her breasts at a surveillance camera. The image and theme is synonymous with young teen-aged men and women who get drunk, and behave inappropriately. Most of them tend to not have memory from the previous night when they wake up the next morning. The ad captures such situations and encourages inappropriate behavior. [1]


The ad definitely uses sexual appeal to catch the attention of consumers. The campaign’s aim might also have been to generate publicity for the brand by using techniques that would grab them some eyeballs. The image of a woman flashing her body parts at a security camera is not something that any consumer would generally associate as being normal or sane. It is highly possible that Diesel was only doing what many other apparel houses such as Benetton and French Connection have been doing since years. However, that doesn’t justify the merits of their campaign. [1] [2]


The ad stereotypes and portrays women inappropriately. The woman in the picture is shown as a sexually provocative figure. Ads like these have been held responsible for inducing violence and crime against women by portraying them as sex objects. The theme of the ad makes a reference to being stupid and dumb, and shows the woman indulging in behavior that only strengthens the argument. The ad stereotypes women as being dumb, wild and irresponsible. [2]

How advertisers may justify the use of this ad 

Diesel might say that it tried to portray women as being confident and uninhibited while expressing themselves. The ad also addresses the fact that consumers nowadays are being constantly monitored by surveillance cameras. In addition to all that, advertisers might argue that most lingerie and swim wear ads get away by showing nudity in a much more provocative manner than what has been shown in this ad. [1]

Effective or not? 

We feel like the ad was definitely not effective. While it might have managed to gain the attention of many teenagers, most of them would be the first to admit that they wouldn’t intentionally want to indulge in activities that would leave them feeling ashamed the morning after a party. “Being stupid” and “having the balls” are two completely different arguments. “Having the balls” could mean possessing the guts to take strong decisions in order to do the right thing. It definitely does not mean climbing up a ladder in order to flash your body parts at a security camera. Now that is just being stupid.

– Manish Priyank Busi


[1] Poulter, S. (2010). Mail Online News. Retrieved from Daily Mail:

[2] Belch, G. E., & Belch, M. A. (2009). Advertising and Promotion – An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective, 9th edition. New York City: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Promotion Creativity

Volkswagen Crafter For any business (Campaign)

Clio Awards

Print Campaign Gold

Briefly introduction of Volkswagen Crafter

Just like a miniseries, there are 3 print ads.

The first one describes a mansion, and from the words from the car (Crafter) you can figure out that a wedding is happening here. Then to the second picture, a catering company, which serves food for the wedding, parked its car beside the wedding co. with an exact same car, just a different body print. And then from the third pic, you can see the night comes, and probably because there were too many people so the plumbing company came.

And the campaign follows with two other print ads and following the same pattern, surprise but close to life.

This advertising message is creatively presented in three ways

(1)Slice of life

It’s creative because it connects everyday life with the VW Crafter. And it fits perfectly with the slogan, “Crafter for any business”. And because the ads shows daily life, so it will leave the impression for the viewers, and when they want to buy a car for their own business they will probably think of Crafter.

It is effective at presenting three situations to which consumers can relate and at registering the product feature-for any business-that helps Volkswagen to sell the brand.


As we all know that demonstration advertising is designed to illustrate the key advantage of the products by showing it in actual use and in some staged situation. In this advertisement, this creative execution is utilized to show three successive scenes in a wedding which Volkswagen Crafter paly a different role. It schemes to show us that Volkswagen Crafter can be used in any business.


 I laughed when I saw the third pic, its a little surprise to me at first, but it’s a piece of life. Emergency happens Consumers may curious about to guess what the emergency has happened here. The food is bad so the toilet is blogged or something else? The thread picture is really humorous but never insulting since this one is close to life, it not aesthetic and you can easily tell because there aren’t any fancy scenes.

In a word, it’s simple but hit the point. So we think it deserves a gold medal.


This is the link of Volkswagen Crafter For any business (Campaign) :

The Wilderness Downtown

Grand Clio

The objective of HTML5 is to move the web forward and connect users with modern browsers such as Google Chrome. The creative idea of this advertisement is team up with Arcade fire to show what the modern web look like and create the first music experience developed entirely in HTML5.

Briefly introduction of the Wilderness Downtown

The video shows us an interactive short film about Wilderness Downtown and you can play this small funny game in the website constructed by HTML5 and the experience the powerness of HTML5.

 When you start the game, you will see a farsighted artistic picture and you will be required to enter an address. Then you will see a beautiful picture in which a person is running in opposite the sun with enthralling music. You, like the person in the short movie, are looking around and enjoy the pleasures of retrospection.

This advertising message is creatively presented in Demonstration

The most impressive feature is that the ad just show us the actual and fantastic use of HTML5 which will totally substitute flash in the future and bring us a new version technical revolution. We can say that this ad is the most powerful demonstration of HTML5.Becaue it’s pretty easy to see why when you look at the serious JavaScript at work here… The HTML 5 demo has multiple choreographed windows triggered by music points, interactive bird flocking to your mouse and in time with the music, custom rendered Google maps, perfect real-time compositing over the top of maps, some advanced procedural drawing that delivers velocity influenced tree branches from the mouse and even 3D canvas rendering!

So, enough of the nerd stuff, this is bloody amazing, check it out, you’ll be glad you did.

This is the link of the video of The Wilderness Downtown:


Advertising and Promotion: An integrated Marketing Communications perspective by Belch

                                                                                                               Written by : Na Li

Superbowl Commercial 2012

The “Priceline – Negotiator’s Last Deal” commercial, was the first ad that the group picked in relation to interactive media. is an interactive website which allows users to input data and get corresponding results for flights, hotels, cruises, etc. Whats more, it also contains customer reviews which enable interactions between various consumers.

The commercial features a bus hanging on a bridge, about to fall off the cliff. The negotiator comes up and urges distressed passengers to get off the bus and book hotels through Priceline right away since they were close to their destinations. After everyone gets off the bus, the negotiator hands over a phone with the Priceline site opened and says, “Save yourself……some money”. The negotiator ultimately goes down with the bus.

The target market for this commercial are people who need to book hotel rooms in the near future, even in a couple of hours; (Since the negotiator says, “You are miles away from your destination.”)and fans of William Shatner.

Manish thought the commercial was funny, since he recognized the negotiator, Captain Kirk from Star Trek. However, the girls thought it was ridiculous that the negotiator had to die.

From a marketing point of view, the commercial tries to connect people who are familiar with Star Trek. Since the commercial features an accident, it tries to convey the idea that consumers or travelers learn about a lot of deals on a day-to-day basis, and get a chance to compare those prices and ultimately get the best price. The message to save money is conveyed prominently – “At Priceline, you can choose some thousands of hotels ON SALE, everyday. Save yourself….some money”. After the negotiator goes down with the bus, the female passenger who manages to grab his phone just in time, books a hotel through the phone. She notices the rest of the passengers giving her “the look”, as  they felt it was highly inappropriate to do something like that while someone just died. The woman cleverly says, “Its what he would’ve wanted”, to quell the heat around her slightly. The ironic or controversial action tries to exhibit that it is equally important to save money as it is mourn someones death. So the “convenient, saving money” idea was conveyed well.

During the commercial, Priceline appears three times, and the negotiator says it only once.

As mentioned above, William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in the famous Star Trek series, acted as the negotiator. He’s a Canadian actor, director, singer and author. According to the comments below the YouTube video, lots of people connect themselves with Star Trek: some complained about why their Captain had to die again and that the negotiator should have died as Captain Kirk ON the bridge and not fall off the bridge. This celebrity/Star Trek idea would work since people would talk about it, forward the message through emails or work-of-mouth communication. One of our team members hadn’t heard of the website, but, when Manish talked about it in excitement, she probably checked it out.

The second commercial we linked to interactive media is the GoDaddy – Cloud ad. The commercial shows two young men talking about one of their dreams last night. Both of them suddenly get dragged into a dream setting with sexy girls introducing’s Internet cloud. More hot girls show up, explaining the various steps to registering on to make “your personal and Internet dreams come true.” The two guys were certainly excited.

For this commercial, the target markets are young men who want to create their own Internet businesses and also fans of the Pussycat Dolls.

Men would certainly take to this commercial a lot more than women, since the main characters are all hot and sexy ladies.

The commercial tries to connect the viewers’ daily dreams and personal dreams; and within the commercial, it tries to show that has all the functions needed for creating a website: hosting, websites, domains, storage and email. The message was not effective since the scene exhibiting all the functions lasts for about 3 seconds, with the background sound saying something else. So it’s probably hard for people to notice the two aspects while watching the commercial.

The logo was on the screen throughout the commercial; the girl said twice, and towards the tail-end of the commercial, a huge “GO DADDY” sign hangs at the back of the scene.

The commercial features celebrities – the Pussycat Dolls and Danica Patrick. Since the CEO of aims to come up with campaigns that are “fun and edgy”, the commercial did convey the idea: funny guys and trendy singers.

The edgiest and most interactive part of the commercial was the QR code that appears throughout on the lower side of the screen to allow viewers to go to the website ASAP. For people who are bored of watching the commercial might use their phones and search the Internet. Increasing traffic! Whats more, at the end of the commercial, the voice says, “See more now, at”, asking for further interaction.

This is the link for the complete commercial:

And last, we also thought some of the commercials “required” an interaction with the viewer:

It asks the viewers to text to join a game to win millions of dollars.

The person was talking to the viewers and suggesting the viewers (customers) to go to the bathroom.


– Written by Angela Ou

Why Interactive Media?

The group chose interactive media as its focus for the semester. The blog was named iMedia567 to signify the name of the course that we’re a part of. Unlike most other traditional forms of media such as advertising, interactive media allows for the two-way flow of communication. Technology has played a more than defining role in the growing popularity of interactive media and we felt that it would be interesting to explore this ever-changing and evolving form of communication. Interactive media has become a part of our daily existence and is playing a role in altering our thoughts, behaviors and needs.

The influence of interactive media is gradually extending to all corners of the globe. In the United States, Facebook and Twitter are popular not only among the younger generation but also in the business world. After noticing the power and potential of social media, the Chinese started to develop their own platforms of social media such as Weibo and Renren.

Interactive media is also a fantastic and innovative platform for marketing. Firstly, the cost of information distribution is much cheaper. Using interactive media helps marketers to save money on promotion and research. Secondly, marketers can obtain feedback from customers in real time since social media provides an open and flexible environment for users to air opinions and communicate. Thirdly, marketers can use the plethora of resources offered by the Internet in order to promote their products and services.

We look forward to learning about and experiencing the world of interactive media in the coming weeks. We can hopefully facilitate some good conversations and discussions among the various participants of this blog.

–Written by Yiqian Sun