In all the time I've enjoyed video games, it wasn't thanks to the "clever" marketing angles the industry has relied on. All of the sex and violence and toilet humor in the world couldn't get me to shell out $60 for one game over another. The bottom line is the gameplay and whether there's something worthwhile in the experience. The games sell themselves and no amount of "Happy, Together" can change that.
So I'm disappointed in Sony's move to sue their former VP of Everything, Kevin Butler. What?! No! How could they do that? Because Sony loves to sue people. It's their thing now, apparently.
I'm disappointed because a man that did right by Sony finished his job, collected his check, and continued making money in his trade, but Sony feels the need to call him down to have a chat with the corporate legal team. It's the same tactics they used with George Hotz, but at least that dumbass had the spanking coming.
In reality, actor Jerry Lambert is a regular guy, hired for his likeability and the vague sense of recognition you feel when you see him hucking Bridgestone tires or whatever he supposedly did to deserve the hanging party that's after him now. That's what gets me: Did Sony think he was going to retire on their short-lived shot at genuine humor? They effectively kill off a likeable, successful character and the guy playing him is supposed to ride off into the sunset?
Let's say Lambert did the unthinkable and appeared in a commercial for Halo 4 and the Xbox 360 as… Fuck, I don't know, Vice President of Corporate Espionage. Say Lambert was so foolish as to switch teams 7 years into the apparent 10-year hardware cycle. The only thing this would accomplish is a tongue-in-cheek reminder of all the good Kevin Butler did for Sony.
A truly successful ad campaign manages to leave the consumer with three things: a sense of time, of place, and of ownership. Kevin Butler delivered on all three of these fronts in ways that even loudmouth youth demographic stand-in Marcus never could. Butler will remain synonymous with the PlayStation 3 and the time period the console occupies. Sony will reap the continued loyalty of the people Butler spoke to. It doesn't hurt that Lambert's everyman portrayal made him the Gamer's guy, the one guy in the business everyone could relate to.
So unless this is all a front by Sony to maintain their "tough-guy" persona (too late Sony, you already squealed my credit card number to anyone willing to tweak your nipples hard enough), I'd say this is a losing move. Call off the dogs and maybe sit down with Lambert about some new work as the VP of everything. You kind of ruined the guy's gig with Bridgestone, so maybe it's time to return to the best thing your marketing department has ever done… ever.
Or whatever, I'm just a gamer with a choice in front of me. It's too bad Sony narrowed it down from "that software company" and "that hardware company" to a choice between two outright d-bag corporations.