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Merchandise tie-ins with movies are nothing new. There will always be products that companies try to sell us by relating it to a popular film. Sony, however, takes this idea to new heights by promoting their new Ghostbusters movie with a fake merchandise tie-in of their own. Apparently, Sony has developed an actual Proton Pack and they would like to sell it to you. You can check out their fake ad below, but as you do so, listen carefully for the names of the scientists who helped "Sony" develop the device.
Did you catch that? Dr. Jillian Holtzmann is the name of Kate McKinnon’s character in the new Ghostbusters movie, set for release in July. We’ve seen in the trailer that she’s the engineer responsible for creating the gear used by the team. But the video also name drops Dr. Egon Spengler, who was, of course, famously played by Harold Ramis in the original two Ghostbusters films from the 1980’s. But hang on, wasn’t this supposed to be a reboot?
From just about day one, when the new Ghostbusters movie was announced, we were told this would be a reboot of, and not a sequel to, the original movies. We’ve all accepted and come to terms with that. Well, not everybody has. We thought it was a little odd when the first trailer made reference to four scientists that saved New York 30 years ago, but at the time it seemed mostly to be happening to help differentiate the new team from the old. Now, we have to wonder. Are they just reminding Generation X of the original in order to get attention, or is there more going on here?
Regardless, the fake ad is actually pretty funny in its own right. Maybe you have to have experience selling Sony consumer electronics, but since I do, it’s incredibly well done. The marketing buzzwords come at you so fast you can’t duck out of the way. Of particular note is the bit that the Proton Pack allows you to "capture content from a parallel dimension." It makes it sound like it’s a supernatural DVR. If you check out the dedicated Proton Pack website it gets even better. It turns out the Proton Pack uses technology similar to Sony’s digital cameras and will connect wirelessly to your Sony TV or smartphone, because of course it does. Everything connects to your smartphone, why would a ghost-catching device be any different?
All we can hope is that the humor of Ghostbusters turns out to be as smart as their marketing. Ghostbusters hits theaters July 15, the same day the Proton Pack will allegedly be in stores.