Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Noise

I saw this insert in USA Today earlier this month. Thanks to the reading program on campus, the residence halls receive free copies of the New York Times, USA Today and three local newspapers. The ad isn't entirely relevant anymore, because December 25th has come and gone, but this is a crazy idea.

In the ad, Sony is advertising noise-canceling headphones. They suggest you peel off the stickers and place them on a remote and luggage to show loved ones what you really want for Christmas. How will they know it's from you? There's no clarification on that. Maybe they're supposed to get everyone the same gift.

I would personally be pretty bothered if someone stuck something to my remote. When I want to take a sticker off -- and I'm going to want to -- I have to peel and pry at the thing for minutes. Then there's the paper that tore off and is super hard to get at. Lastly, the sticky grime that's left afterwards. That's going to make me want to get a gift for my friend alright.

The product isn't bad at all, but Sony is taking the wrong approach. I get why they are placing your ad for noise canceling headphones. Are they targeting the wrong person though? If Sony is advising you to put stickers where they would use the headphones, wouldn't that make them want the product more than to give it to you? Maybe it's a full-circle thing. You get one for me, I get one for you. I think it's a little bogus.

The art direction is nice. I like how they incorporate Sony's HDNA graphics into the print and into the stickers. They kind of look like snowflakes too. It makes some sense to put the graphics in, because it follows the design of Sony's other recent ads, but these headphones aren't HD. I'm not entirely sure about the copy, specifically, "From our studios to your ears, only Sony is true to music." Everything else must be a lie.

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