A loyal reader pointed us to this latest Sony commercial. In an ever-increasing field of HDTV manufacturers, Sony has been making the case that it’s worth buying their brand and claims, “You can’t fake Sony quality. It makes watching sports in HD better.”
Justin Timberlake chimes that the more sports you watch on a Sony, the better you get at sports (while playing a mean Forrest Gump-like match of table tennis with quarterback Payton Manning). A claim like this is actually somewhat plausible — especially watching individual sports like golf or tennis.
However, Manning then claims that watching HD on a Sony has also improved his Chinese in Chinese. Now unless Manning is watching a lot of Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, I have a hard time believing that a product from a Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer such as Sony will improve my Chinese. And Timberlake’s Chinese is just God awful – is he even trying? His feeble attempt at Chinese is almost as bad as Rosie O’Donnell’s (okay, maybe not that bad).
Chinese can be a difficult language to learn, especially given its tonal nature as well as learning Chinese characters. I have to imagine that had Manning and Timberlake claimed that watching a Sony would improve their linguistic abilities with another Indo-European language besides English, the commercial just wouldn’t be as funny.
I have to admit, I thought the commercial was funny. And Timberlake can be quite the comedian. But I have to wonder, are we going to see more Chinese and Chinese families being the comedic twist in commercials, television and movies as China and Chinese language grows in global prominence and popularity? If watching HDTV can improve my Chinese, I should be completely fluent by now! Personally, my favorite Sony Bravia TV ad was an ad of bouncing balls in San Francisco that was ironically only aired in Western Europe.