Sony PlayStation was set to launch just a few weeks before Christmas, a notoriously cluttered time of the year. Both PlayStation and rival XBox were ready to debut their first new consoles in 7 years, in a category-defining battle worth upwards of $70 billion.
In the time since PS3’s launch in 2005, gaming had become a mainstream activity through social and mobile media. In that same period, the number of passionate, core console gamers almost doubled. The explosion of gaming had prompted these self-classified “Players” to protect their passion and gaming identity by becoming increasingly vocal across a broad range of media channels. PlayStation recognized the importance of being a part of these player conversations.
PS4 needed to win the battle for Players’ hearts by becoming the-most-talked-about entertainment launch ever. PlayStation understood the drives behind gamers’ conversations, and placed Players at the heart of the campaign. Branded digital content and experiences were built around their gaming motivations to fuel chatter. PS4 developed an interactive YouTube video challenging Players to find 50 hidden pieces of exclusive content, which resulted in a total of 3.7 million minutes of play. “The Monument” was an online platform created to let Players express their gaming identity. An amazing 62,000 gamers from 150 countries proudly declared themselves Players, and their identities were shared across social channels to win prizes.
By taking an “earned first” approach, Sony PlayStation successfully showed how to out-shout a competitor with considerably larger paid media budgets. The campaign also demonstrated how a strong understanding of a target audience’s online behaviors and passions could win the share-of-mind battle, instead of focusing on traditional share-of-voice. The program help to drive a record 6 million+ PS4 unit sales in just 3 months.