The things that go on in the dark

Every now and then a stupendous advertisement comes along that does not annoy the living Tophet out of me, and which I generally remember forever. I’ve mentioned some examples before.

There’s one print ad that I’ve been looking for since, like, forever – and I finally found a copy. The Internet is great – sooner or later, almost anything of interest will pop up.

In 1998, Sony introduced their Handycam with its patented NightShot infrared system, and this was the print ad that publicized the product:

Handycam Infrared Camera Cat Dog Advertisement

Discovering the cat and the dog in an amorous clench made me laugh way too hard since I was no longer a high-school sophomore – at least not chronologically.

The Print Ad titled CAT & DOG was done by Campbell Ewald advertising agency for the product: Handycam Camcorder (brand: Sony) in the United States. It was released in January 1998.

The advertisement hinted at good things to come when you used this feature. Unfortunately for Sony, there were other things about this camera that the developers had not counted on – like being able to see through clothes.

No, not like the X-Ray Specs advertised in the comics…

(For an interesting write-up on the history of these novelties, visit Lee’s Comic Rack, and for more samples of comic book advertising, check out “Kick the chair and gamble a stamp.”)

… but something much closer to reality.

Yes, the NightShot technology, combined with certain kinds of clothing, effectively made that clothing “disappear.”


Sony recalled about 700,000 cameras and installed a kludge to disable that particular capability, but enterprising people – as enterprising people are wont to do – quickly found ways of making this thing work with just about any Infrared video system. Just Google around if you’re interested.

Technical ramblings aside, I’m happy to have finally found a copy of this ad online. It’s one more thing rattling around in my skull that I can lay to rest.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

4 responses to “The things that go on in the dark

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