Purported PS3 ad sports Nazi imagery

PS3-Rommel.jpg

Sony’s “edgy” marketing gets it attention, but it’s remarkable how tone-deaf it is to what people other than teenage boys will think. It’s as if it doesn’t see that the story should be “PlayStation 3,” not “look how crude and offensive Sony is.”

Erwin Rommel, Joan of Arc resurrected by PlayStation 3. [Copyranter via Engadget and Consumerist]

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Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com

 

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35 Responses to Purported PS3 ad sports Nazi imagery

  1. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone here or on BB realize that Erwin Rommel, aside from actually being one of the best military strategists of any army in the 20th century, was forced to commit suicide after he was implicated in the plot to *assassinate Hitler*? It’s also pretty clear that he wasn’t involved with any of the anti-semitic or Nazi party stuff, and had been with the army since WWI, long before the Nazis were around.

    Seriously, I thought BB readers were a bit more switched on than this.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erwin_Rommel

    These screens are actually really good, but I think the Joan of Arc one is better/more realistic. In the Rommel one the nurses look like vampires, and the swastikas on the bedframes seem a bit gratuitous – ironically these were probably added for the people who can’t figure out for themselves that this was supposed to be WW2-era.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Look at the belt buckle on the kid, looks like the SS Skull that seems to keep popping up too…. sinister much?

  3. ictus75 says:

    And if you play the ad backwards it says, “Smoke marijuana.”

  4. nyar says:

    Reconsidering my position on imagery, after reading #14. Using Nazis as a device to set the stage for the eternal struggle between good and evil is quite astute. See the visceral reactions we are having. Don’t you agree they make excellent bad guys for movies/video games/etc?

  5. Rob Beschizza says:

    “Were PS1 and PS2 just random flukes or did they fire someone that knew what they were doing?”

    Specifically, the guy who knew what he was doing went sort of crazy and had to be fired.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Kutaragi

  6. Carr says:

    What strikes me the most is that it’s a fantastic tableau vivant photograph. The more you look, the more you find. These comments are odd–it’s the weirdness that draws us all in. I find that attraction to be neat.

  7. robulus says:

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/10/01/sony-says-nazi-ps3-ad-is-a-mock-campaign-and-not-real/

    This creative design did not involve and was never approved by Sony Computer Entertainment or Sony. This “mock campaign” was developed by BBDO Chile staff and was submitted to various creative competitions/festivals without prior notification or approval from SCE/Sony, and it is not representative of the views or advertising policies of SCE/Sony. BBDO Chile apologizes for using this creative concept without authorization or prior approval, and for its misrepresentation of the PlayStation brand and its values.

  8. toxonix says:

    hey man I saw a black dude with a hitler mustache today.

    SO, I don’t see nothing wrong with this add.
    I got Nazis in ALL the video games I play. Except for Monkey Ball.

  9. Hanglyman says:

    I miss ads that just told you why you should spend your hard-earned money on a product and why it was better than the competition- you know, the sort of ads that haven’t been seen since the 1940s.

  10. Brandon West says:

    These are fake, btw. Not from Sony.

  11. scaught says:

    I can’t figure out what is going on at all. I think we’re reacting strongly to the image of a nazi soldier in an ad. Nothing else makes sense.

  12. ginshirou says:

    “Truly, what is this ad saying?”

    SONY PR: “God, I hope this makes boingboing.”

  13. Anonymous says:

    Struggling to see the Nazis in this picture …

    … it’s still a rubbish ad though

  14. Ito Kagehisa says:

    When I saw it, I didn’t even notice the military regalia, I was too stuck on “What the hell is going on with the bride-of-frankenstein nurse’s skirt?”

  15. Rob Beschizza says:

    The swastikas, SS skulls and Rommel notwithstanding, neither do I!

  16. PhiCancri says:

    The Nazi imaginary was completely lost on me the first time I saw this picture. I was transfixed on the woman in the middle, as well. She totally looks like a vampire and I thought she was harvesting sweet, sweet body juice for her insatiable appetite. Really though, there’s something wacky about that woman…

  17. Duffong says:

    So the Nazi officer gives the gamer life? Or is it the other way around? Either way, I guess I get the message with the noir-skater edge to it. But you gotta admit that Nazis sure sell a hell of a lot of video games.

  18. Ito Kagehisa says:

    I’m still trying to figure out what is going on with those skirts. Somebody help me out here!

  19. Agies says:

    Hell, the more I look at it the more Nazi iconography I find. Altough I’m not buying that it’s a totenkopf on the belt buckle (which isn’t exclusive to the Nazis anyway).

    But man-oh-man I can’t understand why they would even think of running this ad. Must have come from the same folks who thought up “This is Living”.

  20. butterballs says:

    The guy has killed Rommel, and has come along to the hospital to bring him back to life just so he can kill him again.

  21. Halloween Jack says:

    I must say, I find those nurses disturbing.

    Disturbingly hot.

  22. Not a Doktor says:

    This looks more like faux vintage BSDM vampire porn.

    Well I have a friend or two who’ll be happy and a bit turned on by this.

  23. this_is_area_x says:

    Honestly the picture doesnt make sense at all. How does this pertain to gaming at all? PS3 should just make games. Not try to scare us with hitler. And like the other people said… that nurse in the center has got serious problems.

  24. Enochrewt says:

    Ahh, but it sure was fun to watch Ken Kutagari go crazy. Actually, if you read that wiki that Rob linked to, it doesn’t look like he’s crazy at all. Fan-edited into an electronics saint in fact.

  25. alowishus says:

    Offensive? Maybe. Confusing? Definitely.

    Truly, what is this ad saying? I donno.

  26. elix says:

    What the f is going on in this ad? Never mind Nazi imagery, I don’t even know what the hell it has to do remotely with any Sony product or service, past or present.

    Every day, my belief that there is some sort of industry plot to bring down Sony from within gains more ground.

  27. ChickenDelicious says:

    What ad company made this? It just fails on so many levels. First, they use a historical figure and imagery that is bound to be offensive to a large number of people, and then they place it in a context that is so confusing that any message beyond “LOOK AT US WE’RE SHOCKING” is lost in the mess. Finally, if you can stand to look at the rather ugly design of it (and I know that’s subjective), the message that finally comes through is: “The Playstation 3: Giving Life to Nazis One Douchebag College Student at a Time.”

  28. phelan74 says:

    I think, and I’m just guessing here, that they are saying that Rommell was a military strategic genius and that they are taking his blood and funneling it into the gamer/Gap advert bloke to make him into a strategic genius also.

    It must be an advert for that new 256-player game they have coming out – Mag I think.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps a better way of posting this might have been to go without mentioning Sony or PS3 to see if we the viewers could determine what exactly it was advertising.

  30. nyar says:

    I see Iron Croses, which are military decorations from before 1940. I see swastikas in the bed design, but that must be it is a Party hospital. Erwin Rommel was not an officer in the SS, but regular German Army or Wehrmacht. So if there is a skull or SS marking in his uniform, it would be completely wrong from a historical perspective. It has been documented that Rommel ordered his troops to treat humanely all prisioners and ignored orders to kill Jewish prisioners. He even joined a conspiracy to kill Adof Hitler.

    To say this is Nazi imagery is to exaggerate. To say that it is a “touchy” subject… maybe. But people need to get over it and understand it is part of world history. All we can do is learn from it and not repeat it.

  31. teapot says:

    I find this advertising only as insulting as most other advertising.

    Whilst it is most def not in good taste, I think you will find that the advert is trying to convey the idea that the player can go “behind the scenes” to relive history from different perspectives.

    Old school shooters were always “good guys vs bad guys” – but in the latest generation of games, we are now seeing the ability to play for either side (good or bad). This is what the artist tried to imply, but they have done it in a way which hopes to cause a stir.

    To tell you the truth, I would rather see some grimy, obscure (albeit distasteful) art used for advertising than happy, poppy crap like this.

  32. Malgwyn says:

    The ad looks like some sort of hyperbolic argument against Public Health Care.

  33. philipb says:

    What else would you expect from the company that used an actual church as the setting for a shoot-em-up game?

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article2036423.ece

    Ironic that one of Manchester Cathedral’s missions is to aid the victims of gun crime.

  34. RedShirt77 says:

    I am not sure if this is supposed to be giving blood to a Nazi to revive him or stealing the blood of a Nazi to gain his power. Either way it is pretty sick. And if the second image is supposed to be stealing the heart of the one titted Joan of Arch, then that is disturbed as well.

    And just when I thought video games had taken the right tact towards the Nazis with Nazi zombies. Such worthless racist assholes we should be so lucky as to kill them twice.

    Sony, continues down the path of technical expertise paired with zero understanding of what the public actually wants. Were PS1 and PS2 just random flukes or did they fire someone that knew what they were doing?

  35. Freddie Freelance says:

    It looks like someone saw the SAW Nurse Blood Drive ads and didn’t tried to copy them without understanding them.

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