"The easiest way to explain this idea [of intellectual honesty] is to contrast it, for example, with advertising. Last night I heard that Wesson oil doesn't soak through food. Well, that's true. It's not dishonest; but the thing I'm talking about is not just a matter of not being dishonest; it's a matter of scientific integrity, which is another level. The fact that should be added to that advertising statement is that no oils soak through food, if operated at a certain temperature. If operated at another temperature, they all will--including Wesson oil. So it's the implication which has been conveyed, not the fact, which is true, and the difference is what we have to deal with..."Here's another example. When I first saw this, I thought to myself, 'This is technically impossible and just ridiculous! In the first place, what family would bring a printer to the beach? In the second place, is there a power socket in the sand?!' Don't laugh now. There are other fundamentalists when it comes to interpreting advertisements literally. I was selling Palms for a few days at Millenium Walk some years ago, and this guy came by and bought an m505. The following day, he came back, and demanded a refund. 'Take a look at the screen!', he screamed at me. 'See how dim the display is?! It's unlike anything shown in the brochure!" I love dealing with folks like him, so I smiled at him as he kept on screaming, and explained, 'Yes sir, it's dim all right, but I think you'll get used to it soon enough.' The m505 was Palm's first audacious attempt to squeeze colour into a Palm Vx form factor, so I knew sacrifices would need to be made somewhere. I told the angry man that his expectations were unintentionally raised due to the brilliant colour screen seen in the brochure. I pointed out the asterix beside the picture, and if he was able to find the fine print with an *, he would have seen that the colour screen was just a 'simulated picture'. I also said, because I believed it myself, that he couldn't go wrong with a Palm, so he might like to try to get as much out of it as possible. From a certain perspective, the whole idea of marketing is to spin things, to make things appear better than they actually are. But if we take away the possible lack of honesty in ads, there's something I like about advertisements. It's the beauty of the advertisements themselves, that doesn't have anything to do with the products being sold. 30s of television poetry for its own sake. The latest advertisement I've found (hat tip: SPUG forums) that falls into this category is the new Sony BRAVIA LCD television ad. There's even an official website dedicated to it. that contains behind-the-scenes videos and other downloads. Essentially, they threw 250,000 bouncing balls of various sizes and colours down the slippery slopes of SF, and just filmed it. The end result, with the exquisite cover version of Heartbeats done by Jose Gonzalez, is just gorgeous. I don't really think I'd care too much about the BRAVIA after watching the ad numerous times, which is what makes the whole thing so wonderful. An ad that has transcended its usual objective: to sell things. If a lot of people are like me, and don't necessarily buy the BRAVIAs after watching the ad, the bean counters would probably pronounce the ad to be an expensive failure. Too bad they don't realise it's the best ad I've seen in a long time... More from sfist, Noe Valley Voice, shots.net. Amateur video, making-of video.
Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Sony BRAVIA Colourful Bouncing Balls Advertisement
I am not really a fan of the advertising industry. Part of my discriminatory feelings may have come from something that physicist Richard Feynman talked about in his Caltech commencement address, Cargo Cult Science. There seems to be a lack of 'intellectual honesty' in the world of marketing and advertising.
Posted by jeffyen at 9:17 AM