I didn’t notice it when it was actually going on, but it’s a good thing that someone did. Sony was busted last year, and they admitted that they had done it. And they will probably never do it again, well…
What happened was that there was a viral marketing setup, orchestrated by a marketing company, trying to make it look like some kids had started a blog and created videos about how much they all wanted a PlayStation Portable (PSP) for christmas and showing real PSP fans with messages of how much they “love” their PSP.
Their blog was full of messages from “amateurs” and videos. The problem as you can see in the video below is that the blog / domain was registered for a marketing company and not some kid.
Sony (and their marketing company) tried to make it viral, by creating many videos “made by amateurs” that people could watch and spread on the Internet. I would think that some of the message was that if all those people enjoy the PSP so much, well, then I might have to try it myself as well or even better, I have to buy it to my kids for Christmas.
Sony is not alone, there are probably a lot of companies trying to get away with things like this. The problem is that we never know about the successful ones, because if they are successful we don’t get to hear about it. We only hear about the ones that are busted.
Did Sony and the marketing company do anything illegal? No, they didn’t. They never told the public that this was not a marketing company, it just wasn’t suppose to look like it. Another marketing campaign gone bad, or maybe they got even more attention by being busted?