Friday, August 21, 2009

Alice Cooper helps fleece the masses

I guess the idea of getting Alice Cooper to front a TV commercial encouraging people to trade-in their TVs rather than throwing them out of windows makes for a marginally amusing concept. And it's not like Cooper is the sort of artist for whom appearing in a Sony ad is going to ruin his reputation. In fact, compared to his pieces pushing Sky with Ronnie Corbett, this ad is the model of integrity.

And he did this, too, of course, flogging golf clubs:

And he did make this charming spot for Staples:

So, given that he's the shills' shill, perhaps its more surprising that Sony wanted him in the advert rather than coming up with a new idea.

The real worry about the advert is the message behind it. MediaGuardian reports:

Matt Coombe, the general marketing manager at Sony UK, said that the campaign aimed to capitalise on the need for all sets to be digital by the time the UK's analogue terrestrial signal is switched off in 2012.

I'm sorry, what, Mr. Coombe? While it's true that all sets must be capable of receiving a digital signal by switch-off, that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with buying a new TV. Indeed, one of the central planks of the Digital Switchover campaign is stressing that while you might need a new aerial; you might need a new set-top box; you might think about a satellite dish, the one thing you don't need to do is buy an expensive new television. Quite elaborate lengths have been gone to to make it clear that old TVs can adapt to getting WestCountry Tonight in digital.

So Alice Cooper is lending his commercial heft to pushing an upgrade that nobody needs to get involved with. Good work, Sony. Good work, everybody.

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