Aug 23, 1999

When is a catalogue not a catalogue?
When it is a lifestyle magazine.

The magazine is called sony style and its premiere issue is just out. In short, it's awful.

I don't think most people realize that SONY is not only an electronics behemoth, but that it owns a vast variety of content producers in music, TV, film, and video games.

(Don't think *you* are living in sony style? I think you might be very surprised.)

Once you realize that SONY owns so much content, you could see why the executives at SONY would think a SONY magazine would be a good idea. ("Cut out the middle man. Own the content and earn on advertising instead of spending for it")

And so, sony style isn't about ideas. It's about products. And it shows on every page.

There's the features on sony artists: Jennifer Lopez and Charlotte Church. Alas, no profile on sony artist, Rage Against the Machine.

There's the fashion features: Diane Van Furstenberg designed a vest with pockets that can fit a sony MiniDisc Player and other electronic devices(!) DKNY's personal shoppers use sony Mavica digital cameras(!)

There's the home design feature: how to move your furniture in your room to fit a sony tv or sony stereo system.

There's the features on using digital equipment. Sample from 'How to get video special effects - Nightshot' : "Put camcorder in STANDBY mode and slide the NIGHTSHOT switch to ON. Press START/STOP to begin recording"

There's lots and lots of sony product profiles, within which is more sony product placement. Did you that the sony's AIBO, the world's first entertainment robot designed for home use, has more than more motors than a dozen Walkman stereos?

And then, there's selections from the sony's full line of products under the section 'essentials'.

There is no style to sony style because style needs a idea to embody. And the only thing that resembles the closest thing to an idea are on the first page of the magazine:

"Sony is a company devoted to the celebration of life. We create things for every kind of imagination. Products that stimulate the senses and refresh the spirit. Ideas that always surprise and never disappoint. Innovations that are easy to love and effortless to use. Things that are not essential, yet hard to live without.

We are not here to be logical. Or predictable. We're here to pursue infinite possibilities. We allow the brightest minds to interact freely, so the unexpected can emerge. We invite new thinking, so even more fantastic ideas can evolve.

Creativity is our essence. We take chances. We exceed expectations. We help dreamers dream."

Yeah, sony style wants to helps dreamers dream.... to dream of owning sony products.

Or by putting the rest of us to sleep.