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Sony is Only Hurting the Playstation Brand by Suing Kevin Butler's ActorSony Nintendo PS3 Wii Bridgestone Kevin Butler
I sincerely thought Sony was in the process of working out a new deal with the amazingly popular spokesperson behind the last few years worth of Playstation advertisements so I was really blindsided by all this news.
But I must ask... what can Sony possibly gain by suing in the first place?
People Loved Kevin Butler
Before you get your undies in a bunch and run to the comments section just to say you personally didn't like Kevin Butler, I'd like to point out that his ad campaign went on for a solid three years.
Also there are those amazingly awful advertisements Sony used to run. If I had to choose between those or Kevin Butler ads, it would be the Kevin Butler ad every single time.
Look deep into his cold beady doll eyes
Just to show you how popular the Kevin Butler character was, when Playstation All Stars was announced, he immediately began appearing on peoples' roster lists. Not just once or twice. He was constantly appearing in articles asking for his inclusion in the game.
And now Sony is attacking him. How do you think the fans of Kevin Butler are going to take this? This is Sony's own user base I'm talking about here. They're actively killing a character that people loved for little to no reason. Which brings me to another point.
Everybody Stopped Caring Hours Ago
How many articles and news reports appeared a week after the stunning realization that Kevin Butler had switched sides and started selling tires? Zero? Well, how many were written three days after?
Huh. Zero again? Maybe my Google-fu is a bit lacking these days, but I can only remember one article that appeared after the news broke, and that was an article stating Jerry Lambert had been removed from the commercial.
It almost makes too much sense
You have to remember that it had been nearly a year since the last new ad campaign featuring Kevin Butler had released. There were still Twitter updates and whatnot, but eventually even those stopped.
What I'm trying to get at is we all kind of knew it was over. I'm sure there were plenty of us that hoped Kevin Butler would make a return, but we weren't expecting it. We weren't expecting a Wii ad either, but the guy is an actor.
A week after the advertisement and the only real damage was a bit of egg on the Sony marketing team's face. Most people had just stopped caring by that point. But now here we are with a major lawsuit.
Come On Sony, How Will This Look?
I don't know if Jerry Lambert had some sort of no compete clause in his contract since I've read conflicting reports on the matter. If he did, then sure, Sony would have grounds for a lawsuit. But they still shouldn't have done it.
Like I mentioned above, by attacking Jerry Lambert they're attacking their own user base. Whether the character was gone or not doesn't matter. Kevin Butler was a big marketing success for Sony.
This is sure to be awkward.
So there's the whole Spider-Man gambit. They attack KB, then they attack all the fans they created by using him in the first place. It just makes Sony look bad in the eyes of the people that matter most to them: the fans.
And we can't forget all the people that hate big corporations picking on the little guy. Sure, Jerry Lambert isn't the "little guy" by any means. He's the President of his own company! But Sony is a worldwide powerhouse worth billions.
No matter what Sony does, it'll be perceived as a David vs Goliath fight. Even if they have grounds for a lawsuit, the average American isn't going to care. They're just going to see a giant company trying to bully somebody over a commercial.
You were the chosen one!
I could be wrong, but alienation of potential buyers this close to the holidays with less than friendly behaviors is a really bad idea. Especially with that new system model out and the impending Wii U arrival. Sony very easily could have swept this whole thing under the rug. Instead they had to get sue happy and bring the whole thing to the media stage. I haven't seen any reports yet, but you know they're going to happen.
If they thought Jerry Lambert appearing near a Nintendo Wii did damage to their image, just wait until the different news agencies pick up on what is currently going on. I guarantee it'll be worse then anything a commercial could have done.
So the question still remains. What did they stand to gain from suing anybody?
What do you think is the right move? Should Sony have just let Kevin Butler go live on a farm where he could chase all the rabbits he wanted, or should they go with the current Old Yeller approach? Which will really make them look worse? As always, thanks for reading.
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