The Sony Entertainment Network is an all-inclusive entertainment suite and online store, comprised of the latest movies, TV programs and music. The real gem in the service is that you can purchase, download and play Sony PlayStation games immediately. With December being the most important time in the year for sales, Sony’s challenge was to improve Y.O.Y sales by 50% despite a very limited budget and a mass of competitor activity from e-retailers in the midst of an Xbox console launch. The PlayStation audience differs from the casual gaming audience as it is more enmeshed with the history of gaming; PlayStation users are more likely to download games as opposed to less frequent gamers.
While existing PlayStation owners are an obvious choice, Sony needed to take it further. They needed this audience to purchase more than one game per transaction. While competitors were leading with ‘film launch’ style budgets and targeting mainstream audiences, Sony decided they would focus efforts on when their loyal gamers came out to play; Monday evenings after work, at night in the wee hours, any odd hours when gamers tune into online multiplayer communities. Using this approach Sony’s efforts could cut through and resonate when the competition was less active or asleep. Sony wanted to behave like the gamers themselves and engage them on their own terms, on their time.
These odd hours facilitated not only cheaper ad buys but highly targeted impressions. They implemented a combination of programmatic media and dynamic creative to enable these timing insights and retargeting algorithms ensuring every impression counted. This allowed communication optimization to happen in real time that was true to the gamer, not the advertiser. By engaging with a target audience that already was familiar with the product, in their space and on their terms lead to consumers adding more products into their baskets.
In fact the ‘Festive Sales’ campaign became the Sony Entertainment Network’s most successful campaign to date, delivering 165% more transactions with web searches for the brand exceeding all historic searches and social sentiment reaching its highest.