TK's MORNING BUZZ: Adult Industry Is Stickering DVDs as Suitable for Play on PlayStation 2 Consoles25 Apr, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold
I have before me a British magazine with a most interesting article entitled, "Vivid Images: Porn Studio Targets U.K. Gamers."The "porn studio" in question is Vivid Entertainment, one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of adult video in the United States. The article is all about how Vivid has been targeting PlayStation 2 gamers, first in the United States and now in the United Kingdom, with its pornographic DVDs.
The strategy is simple: slap labels on DVDs, identifying them as "PS2 compatible." It's worked so well in the United States that in May or June Vivid is breaking into the United Kingdom with a similarly big "push into PS2-friendly retailers, coming as a result of exhibiting at a number of trade shows." Specifically, Vivid hopes to land its product in such major U.K. record chains as HMV and Virgin. The company considers being in those venues, with their female customers, as crucial to crossing the gender barrier: most adult product is purchased by men.
Indeed, according to the article, Vivid "believes adult DVD producers will be able to reach 12% to 14% of PS2's installed base as the machine matures over the next few years. 'It's not hard to sell pretty, naked girls to the PlayStation 2 customer,' says Gary Thompson, Vivid's vice president of business development."
So far, Sony hasn't commented on Vivid's courting of its customers, which includes preteens and young teens, but the article notes that the Japanese consumer electronics giant is hardly a stranger to the adult industry -- or to Vivid.
At the 1997 VSDA convention in Las Vegas, the article reports, "Sony let Vivid borrow a big screen television and several 26-inch sets to show its DVD-based adult content. Adult content was one way for Sony to help promote the new DVD platform."
Accordingly, the article quotes Vivid president David James as saying, "I think Sony realizes that adult material will probably help them sell more PlayStation 2 hardware."
If we weren’t crying, we’d be laughing over equating a Sony TV loaner at a trade show to presuming that company’s implicit endorsement of Vivid’s insidious marketing gambit to rub sex and nudity in the face of the PlayStation 2 market. Targeting under-age consumers with adult material that is clearly inappropriate for that audience segment raises ever more sticky issues about the sensibility of entertainment marketing. If Vivid’s decision-makers and others like them can’t control their impulses in a manner that shows common sense and respect toward children and society at large, we’re sure the government will be happy to try to do it for them.
Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com