With both Sony & Microsoft launching next-generation consoles – PS4 and Xbox One - just one week apart from each other in November 2013, the two brands were set for a head-to-head battle on the NPD front for the first time in their histories. This was to be a category defining battle and DRUMS challenge was not just to launch a new console, but to relaunch the PlayStation brand altogether to a new generation of serious gamers.
By understanding what drove our players’ conversations we could place real players at the heart of our campaign. By listening to our players, analysing their motivations for gaming and their desires in a Next Gen console we concluded that the content that would resonate with them most would be content that allowed them to play, compete and share. We concentrated on the ‘real players’, people who would influence others and most likely engage others too. We were laser-focused, deliberately avoiding spreading our communications too wide, avoiding vanilla advertising and ignoring the mass market. In fact, we deliberately left all that ground to Xbox.
The film had phenomenal success; Within one week we had received over 10m views online (fueled mostly by social sharing) and referenced in over 42,000 tweets on the first day alone. Crucially, the film elevated PlayStation’s awareness and brand scores above XBOX’s ahead of launch. Week 1 sales of 248,000 PlayStation 4 smashed XBOX One’s 150,000. By Christmas, PS4 had sold 500,000 units, whilst XBOX One had barely passed 332,000. For the first time in recent history, PlayStation outsold all competitors across all key platforms: PS3, PS4 and PS Vita.
Deputy Managing Director