Winning the console war

The brief

Our challenge was to show PlayStation has got its ‘swagger back’ and use the global launch of PS4 as a platform to swipe the media spotlight away from Xbox One.

The distraction

The Playstation 4 and the Xbox One were going head-to-head for Christmas, sharing specs and software titles. We needed to make the PS4 stand out above Xbox and capitalise on the interest in the launches to make sure we came out as the winner.

How did we make our audience care?

We focused on the one area where Sony could beat Microsoft hands down – heritage. The PlayStation brand has an unmatched cultural cache and we wanted to celebrate that difference with a stunt that was uniquely PlayStation, captured attention, and made people love the brand.

We identified London’s iconic OXO Tower – flouting the rule that bans advertising on the Thames with its unique windows – as the perfect location for our stunt and gave the tower a clever and unique makeover using PlayStation’s instantly recognisable symbols.

The iconic PlayStation circle, cross, square and triangle light switch on coincided with a very exclusive preview event for celebrities, lifestyle media and influencers. ‘Play the Players’ was a unique opportunity for fans to play celebrities at their favourite PS4 launch titles at the PS4 Lounge in Covent Garden. Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey, boxing legend Amir Khan and PlayStation superfan Dizzee Rascal had fans queuing up to play.

Ahead of retail, we announced a limited number of consoles were available to purchase at midnight from PS4 Lounge in Covent Garden. Queues started 4 days ahead of launch, culminating in over 400 people waiting to get the first hands-on and enjoy an exclusive performance from Tinie Tempah.

The action

  • The OXO stunt generated over 530 pieces of coverage, 38 broadcast hits and a global reach of over 217,000,000

  • There were 36.5 million Twitter impressions with 24 hours – with approximately 1.5 million people seeing PS4 launch related messaging per hour

  • Console pre-orders surged 12% the morning after, despite the console being unavailable for delivery for 8 weeks

  • The campaign won 14 awards, including Best Technology Campaign from PR Week, Best Consumer Campaign from the PRCA and Best Strategy from The Drum.

  • A day of prerecords with various Sony execs and a strategy of pre-recording with PA delivered 15 broadcast hits, reaching an audience of over 15,000,000

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