Sony has done some pretty hair brained things when it comes to their advertisements. One of the more recent ones is a TV advertisement for the PS3 that angered Nigeria due to a credit fraud reference. Sony promptly apologized for the ad and edited the commercial. Prior to that was a billboard ad featuring a white woman and a black woman in what seemed to be spousal abuse that was followed by subway ads with instructions on how to commit suicide.
The controversy just continues, this time from a Chilean ad portraying gamers as nazi sympathizers…. kind of. Two ads have been released, one showing a modern day gamer giving a heart transplant to Joan of Arc. The other showing another modern gamer giving a blood transfusion to a Nazi.
The Nazi in question is supposed Erwin Rommel, a renown German field officer. His chivalrous and humane attitude towards POWs and refusal of orders to kill captured Jewish soldiers and Civilians. By all means, he was a great man, so why the kerfuffle? The association and the need to know Rommel to understand the message behind the ad.
The direction might be well aimed but, much like sony’s other controversial ads, is executed poorly. I’m not entirely certain what the message really was and how it pertained to selling PS3s. Gamers are willing to give up themselves for heroes so go buy a PS3 so you can donate a liver to Ghandi?
[Update 10/04/09: Looks like these mocked up ads weren’t approved by Sony.]