With the release of Sony’s new PS4 console on November 29 in the United Kingdom, the Japanese tech company went into high gear promoting its release throughout England and the United Kingdom.
And that’s no surprise since its direct competitor, Microsoft, released it’s next gen console, Xbox One, only a week before the PS4 release. With both companies pushing out brand new consoles at the same time, they have entered a fierce battle for market share. Because of this, the value of generating positive buzz in the U.K. has massive implications for the success of both consoles.
Sony was quick to recognize this and took matters into its own hands to ensure no one forgot that the PS4 was being released in the U.K. at the end of November.
The tech-giant turned to the marketing firm 180 Amsterdam to help launch a campaign for its most powerful console yet. Al Moseley, CCO of 180 Amsterdam and his team decided to focus on the gamers and their experience rather than the console hardware in order to help generate buzz for the upcoming release.
“The goal for us was to turn a product built for the gamer, by the gamer, into a communications campaign that seduced the gamer.” – Al Moseley
simple ingenious idea in mind, the “For the Players” campaign was born. This integrated marketing campaign was filled with gaming culture references, special effects, and relates directly to their core consumer: the gamer. By focusing on the gamer’s experience, Sony was able to generate significant buzz among their target audience before the console was even close to hitting the shelves of U.K. retailers.
See the U.K. ad here:
But Sony didn’t stop there, they also took their campaign to the skies of London.
To further help amp up the release of the PS4 in Britain, Sony took over the OXO Tower in London for the length of November. The massive landmark was adorned in the iconic symbols from the gaming console’s controller, generating a huge amount of impressions around London. These symbols were lit up alongside the glowing London skyline every night for the entire month up until the U.K. release date.
The choice of using the OXO Tower as a freestanding installation by Sony was strategic for two reasons. Not only is the tower an iconic London landmark that can be seen across the city, but the building has existing windows that are already shaped like an O and an X: two of Playstation’s four renowned symbols – making it the perfect choice.
This extensive campaigning was not done in vain, and has already paid off for Sony in the U.K. market.
Over the opening weekend in the U.K., Sony sold over 250,000 PS4 consoles. This is approximately 100,000 units more than its competitor the Xbox One. This makes the PS4 the fastest-selling gaming console in U.K. history. And it is no doubt that the massive public relations efforts on behalf of Sony and 180 Amsterdam helped make this possible.
A war is raging in the United Kingdom, and Sony and its PS4 are on top.
Your move, Microsoft.
The American multinational clothing retailer Gap has released the holiday extension of its “Back to Blue” campaign launched earlier this fall. The holiday campaign called “Make Love” showcases the things that matter most in life — genuine love, respect, and compassion.
The U.S. campaign starring cultural icons from around the world includes print ads, mail, social media and television ads. New digital content is also unveiled regularly on the brand’s YouTube account.
“Make Love is about giving love through action, whether it’s a service to others or a gift that’s a representation of love,” -Seth Farbman, Gap’s Global Chief Marketing Officer.
Gap has collaborated with celebrities who have been sharing true love with their field of work and their social lives. The famous personalities modeled Gap’s 2013 holiday collection in the ads, adding a personalized touch to the garments. All stills starring celebrities such as Tony Bennett, Cyndi Lauper, Waris Ahluwalia, Malin Akerman, along with other personalities and famous models can be found on the official Pinterest page of the brand.
On November 24th, a tweet by Arsalan Iftikhar (@TheMuslimGuy) was sent along with a shot of a vandalized “Make Love” print ad. Gap’s still of Sikh model Waris Ahluwalia and model and film-maker Quentin Jones located in New York City had been marked with very racist comments. The campaign’s tagline had the word “Love” crossed out and replaced with “Bombs,” and “Please stop driving taxis,” scribbled a little lower.
(via Twitter, @TheMuslimGuy)
The ad had been received so well, encouraging and promoting interracial love and diversity in America. Several tweets and articles rooted for Gap’s campaign and what it stood for.
Due to this appreciation for the campaign, the vandalism was quickly reported on Twitter. This gave Gap an opportunity to excel in public relations reaction skills and problem solving.
The very next day, Gap proudly changed their Twitter account’s header to the Ahluwalia-Jones still, and professionally responded to the tweet asking for more information from the sender, Iftikhar, so that the ad could be taken down and replaced.
“@TheMuslimGuy Hi there. Thanks for informing us. Can you please follow & DM us? We’d like to know the location of this.” – @Gap
Upon its re-installment on November 28th (four days after the original vandalized poster was tweeted) the new ad was trending all over the Internet.
The “Make Love” campaign’s poster of musician Malcolm Ford and actor Max Snow has also been vandalized with hate speech in Chicago. The poster was defaced with homophobic comments and was also quickly made public on Twitter by JK Trudell (@jktrudell), and Gap replied shortly thereafter.
Considering the fact that the hate speech on these ads dealt with touchy issues like race and homosexuality, the brand reacted quickly and effectively. Gap’s public efforts to fix these vandalized ads are impressive and well worth the buzz they have generated.
What do you think of Gap’s “Make Love” campaign and of their efforts in restoring the campaign’s image and message?