For all its troubles, Sony seems to be the first big tech company to embrace the idea of advertising as content. In this digital age, where we can fast-forward past ads with our PVRs, or go to places like YouTube where there aren't any ads in the way, advertising has to be its own reason to watch.
Sony's first Bravia ad was a terrific example of this: borrowing the techniques and aesthetic of installation art, it was simply footage of thousands of coloured balls bounding down a hill in San Francisco, with a lovely indie theme tune. It was everyone's favourite ad -- a Sunday newspaper even included a making-of DVD of it.
Now there's a new one. This time Sony has exploded 70,000 litres of coloured paint over a dreary Glasgow housing estate, set to classical music. It's reminiscent of the fountains at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. And it has that same, slightly haunting, quality as the first ad -- is that real? Did they really do that? Surely not. It must be CGI. But no, they really did it -- it took ten days to film and took 60 people five days to clear up. Don't worry, the paint was water-based and environmentally friendly.
You can check it out for yourself at Sony's Bravia site. -NH