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.