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December 20, 2006

Sony’s Not So Stealthy Campaign

Last month a website was created that brought serious embarrassment to Sony. The site, AllIWantForXmasIsaPSP.com was set up to look like a genuine fan site and featured a video of a character named “Cousin Pete” who performed a rap in which he talked about how much he wanted a PSP for Christmas. The online community quickly got suspicious and when they asked the site administrator if it was fake they issued this cringe making statement: “We don’t work for Sony. And for all you dissin’ my skillz I’m down for a one on one rap off or settling it street stylez if you feel me playa.” However, The site’s creators stupidly hadn’t covered their tracks and a simple WhoIs lookup of the URL revealed that the registrars were none other than Sony Computer Entertainment US. When key online influencers, bloggers and gamers got wind of this embarrassing news it spread like wildfire. While it’s difficult to speculate whether or not this will affect pre-Christmas PSP sales it is a textbook example of how a stealth marketing campaign can seriously backfire. This is not unlike the shameful campaign that cleaning product brand Cillit Bang attempted with it’s Barry Scott blog.

The Sony site was quietly pulled last week.