Sony "Join Together" Commercial

So the wife and I went to see a movie today and this commercial came on. Now on one hand it is great because it shows how we create great products that change peoples lives. It talks about collaboration and put the spotlight on us as the creators. What really bothers me though is that it consistently refers to us as “Artists” and not designers. This simple word takes a commercial that could have been very powerful for the ID community and simply makes us look like stylist. How does a company like sony that had so much ID history make something like this?


Advertising executives.

Everyone knows what an artist is without explanation. How many threads are there on the board alone offering opinions on what ID really is? To do this in a commercial, I think, would slight the profession even further.

Agreed with calling out ID but they could at least mention “designer”. I think that is pretty straight forward. The term artist just bothers me.


The rare commercials that depict industrial designers generally have trouble with their identity. The Miller vortex commercial showed “scientists” in white lab coats designing the bottle.

As NURB said, “Industrial Design” is an unknown term. That being said I agree PackageID - not sure why they chose “artist” over “designer”.

(On a personal note, I like the term “artist”, sort of like a grand master :smiley: )

You’re all renaissance folks, you can’t be pigeon-holed successfully by one term so they just have to pick one of the many areas you delve into. Thus sometime the ‘artist,’ sometimes the engineer (HP’s “engineered for you”), sometimes the lab coat mad scientist, etc. Plus the ‘d’ word has potentially bad connotations (fashion, shallow junk and good marketing) :sunglasses:

hmmm. Maybe, I still don’t like artist.


Good call Cameron.

I think Cameron got it right, for people who don´t know anything about industrial or product design, things are made by engineers and marketing people. Art is a way to connect the aesthetics with the engineering, without using the word design which cases means overpriced, fancy or not so useful things.

Art is more complimentary to engineering. More opposite. Design is similar to engineering. Art is inspirational. Design is dry. We are artists, in a way.

I like the commercial.


I thought it was an awesome spot. A TV spot like this has to be understandable to a very wide audience very quickly. In terms of story telling, I agree with Richard, the more diametrically opposed term of art to engineering just clicks better. Design is a blending of art and science… muddles the power of the story.

I can agree they are polar opposites and didn’t think of it in that perspective. Ironically this spot came on as soon as I started replying.


If you want to get someone angry, call them a graphic artist instead of graphic designer. And that transition happened 30 years ago.

A wide U.S. audience sure. Clever spot, but I call BS. In 2014, is pairing “artists” and “engineers” really a novel product development methodology? It’s discrediting to their own industrial designers let alone ID in general and misleads their audience as to how products are developed and who develops them.

Ad execs indeed.

According to this spot

Engineer = Thinker
Artist = Doer

I know they open with an engineer and what appears to be an Industrial Designer, but I can’t help but think they were using artist more broadly. Industrial Designer, yes, but also the DJ as a performance artist, photographer, drivers, actors, athlete, etc.

This commercial is about how their superior engineering enables and frees artists to do what they do better, they may open with the product development story, but this commercial is engineer helping different artists do their thing. The engineers are a constant in their Blue Sony jacket and they are there to offer a hand to the “artists” to support what they do.

I would posit that we are maybe including on the engineering side (again we get lumped into a broader category), but I believe the first scene would nullify that claim.

My guess is this commercial is partly after recruiting young engineers.

As an ad, it’s OK. I wonder if this really motivates consumers at all (although those water-proof headphones are kinda cool).

As an IDer, I agree with Greenman. I don’t like to be called an artist anymore than I do an engineer. I actually refer to myself as a stylist sometimes (people 40+ get it). An artist is just too general. It sounds like you could find one by going to flea market and picking someone up who was selling crafts. That’s not at all what we do.

I think the intention was more to link the brand with musicians, etc. in the same way that Blackberry, Intel and Polaroid did by hiring pop stars. It seems like pop star brands are the strongest ones around and corporations are desperate to be seen as having the same cred as them.