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Why PlayStation Move’s advertising is a little embarrassing

Is it just us, or is the above advert horribly embarrassing? Not because it markets a hardcore gaming machine as a lifestyle product for an audience who also enjoys the Sugababes – we have no issue sharing the PS3 with casual gamers. No, it’s embarrassing because of how shamelessly it copies Nintendo’s campaign. The set up is exactly the same – two attractive celebrities play with the hardware as if they’re in their natural environment, chatting to each other in an offhand and informal manner, while having the time of their lives with The Shoot as if it’s the most familial and relationship-builidng game released since The Sims. Seriously, the only difference between this and Nintendo’s advertising campaign is the atmosphere of the room. Nintendo places its families and JLS in ridiculously white rooms that look like something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sony turns the lights down low and sets a cooler, ‘Ikea nightime range’ mood –  implying that Sony’s is a sexier and more mature console than Nintendo’s.

But the real message here is a confirmation of that which everyone already knew. Move is a rip-off, not just of Nintendo’s technology, but of its entire outlook on the videogame industry. Sony has seen Nintendo’s new casual-focused approach, seen its marketing, and borrowed the idea wholesale for itself. It’s riding on Nintendo’s coattails, hoping to replicate its success, rather than forging ahead and ploughing its own furrow.

To be fair, Sony’s marketing team has created some adverts of its own for Move, but they’re not much better. Take this one, for instance:

“This PlayStation Move controller makes me feel like I’m right there.” “Right there like I’m some kind of gladiator woman who can take on anyone.” Please, please do shut up. This saccharine nonsense is even worse than the Nintendo rip-offs , despite the fact it has some sense of originality to call its own. Compare it to Microsoft’s most recent Kinect advert:

This advert is cooler, conveys the central message of the product without requiring any horrible dialogue, and makes the overall product feel more desirable and less embarrassing. We’re not saying Microsoft is entirely off the hook, it’s just as bad as Sony when it comes to plagiarising Nintendo’s work (in fact, in some cases it’s even worse), but in focusing on the people and not the games the advert makes for a more entertaining-looking product. As the best advertising does, it makes the viewer’s imagination do half the work.

The PlayStation Move ads are, at the moment, rather cringeworthy. Come on, Sony. You’ve made some of the best advertisements of all time in the past. Let’s see a bit more of the creativity, wit and balls that you put into campaigns like this:

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  • John

    As opposed to M$ kinect marketing? Give me a break, at least Kevin Butler is funny. M$ are having to PAY people to buy the kinect!

  • Dom

    there all pretty much the same, advertising good happy family times. KB is cool though

  • KeeperOfTheWord

    Dear John,

    Learn to read.

  • Embarrassed

    Seriously, trying to generate page hits by trying to start a fanboy fight over the merits of ultra-casual focussed ADVERTISING?


  • Ian Dransfield

    Looks, smells and tastes like a perfectly reasonable opinion to me. If you see any baiting in this one it’s all in your mind, I can assure you.

  • Chris McMahon

    Embarrassed – do you not agree, though, that Sony has clearly imitated the competition’s advertising campaign? Do you not also agree that this shows a lack of inspiration from the same company that came up with Double Life and I Am Wolfman adverts? I think there’s a point to be made there about the way the industry is headed, and how the one-time market leader is now shamelessly copying its competitors in a desperate scrabble to keep up. I couldn’t care less about baiting fanboys.