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Marketing Brand Strategy Best of 2021

5 of the best entertainment campaigns that won in 2021, featuring PlayStation and Xbox


By Kendra Barnett | Senior Reporter

December 22, 2021 | 7 min read

As part of our Best of 2021 series, our journalists have been picking out their favorite award-winning work of the year.

Oxford Circus stop on London Tube with PlayStation marketing activation

The Drum wraps up the top entertainment and music campaigns of the year

Throughout the festive season, we’ll be looking back through the winners from our 2021 global awards program, which includes The Drum Awards for Marketing, The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries, The Drum Awards for B2B and more.

Here, we round up some of the best campaigns to win in The Drum Awards’ music and entertainment categories, including PlayStation’s colorful takeover of the London Tube and the Buzz Bingo research project that crowned Jonah Hill as Hollywood’s biggest pottymouth.

PlayStation ‘Transport for London Takeover’ by Red Consultancy

London Underground PlayStation signs

As part of the PlayStation 5’s global launch, the Sony-owned gaming brand worked with Red Consultancy to execute a colorful takeover of five high-traffic London Underground stations.

Winner of the music and entertainment category at The Drum Awards for PR, the campaign’s core visuals – four geometric symbols designed to mirror the classic icons on PlayStation controllers – were adapted to augment the Tube’s iconic red circle logo, with some signs swapped out for green triangles, blue Xs or pink squares.

PlayStation also temporarily rebranded the names of the stations in reference to major gaming titles that are available on the new console. West Ham was renamed Horizon Forbidden West Ham, a nod to Horizon Zero Dawn, while the Seven Sisters stop was dubbed Gran Turismo 7 Sisters.

TikTok Thailand ‘Songkran Stranger’ by its in-house team

Winner of the music and entertainment category at The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising, TikTok set out with a goal of changing its brand image, growing its user base and boosting brand loyalty in Thailand, where Facebook, YouTube, Line and other competitors have dominated.

When Thailand’s holiday season – marked by the playful Songkran celebration involving public water fights symbolizing cleansing – was impeded by Covid restrictions, TikTok saw an opportunity to help young people feel happy and connected, virtually.

The platform’s in-house team developed the first-ever interactive video on TikTok, titled ‘Songkran Stranger’. It tells the story of Linn, a woman who seems to get dumped every Songkran because she transforms into a new person every time she’s splashed with water. Her luck turns around when she meets the kindhearted Mario.

TikTok users were able to use the Duet or Stitch features to interact and contribute to the story in their own way and the brand tapped both micro and major influencers to engage with the film. And it worked: TikTok became the #1 most-downloaded app during the Songkran period, and, per Kantar Brand Health Tracking metrics, brand likeability for non-users jumped 14% and its entertainment image grew 82%.

Xbox ‘Dreams Within’ by Edelman, Unit9 and Assembly

To promote the new Xbox Series X|S, the brand’s most high-tech console, Xbox worked hand-in-hand with PR firm Edelman, production studio Unit9 and marketing and media agency Assembly to create and advertise an immersive, dreamlike livestream activation that introduced the new machine. The team came up with ‘Dreams Within’ – an activation that used four 4K projectors to cast a virtual, 14ft-tall replica of the console to showcase its power. The activation was then used as the centerpiece for a livestream launched in partnership with Twitch.

Winner of the music and entertainment category at The Drum Awards for Digital Industries, the event featured an original binaural soundtrack and juxtaposed the digital render of the console against a backdrop of St Paul’s Cathedral in London, drawing over 20m views. The campaign signifies the biggest-ever Xbox launch on record, with The Xbox Series X|S selling out in minutes.

Buzz Bingo ‘Profanity on Film’ by Verve Search

Online bingo game platform Buzz Bingo partnered with Verve Search on a mission to improve site authority and drive brand recognition by gaining editorial links and coverage across the web. To do so, the team came up with a cheeky goal of determining the films featuring the most swear words; it combed through 3,565 scripts and developed techniques for measuring the most curse words per 1,000 words as well as the most foul-mouthed actors and characters in film. It also assessed the historical progression of swearing on film throughout history and how swearing trends have evolved.

Winner of the music and entertainment category at The Drum Awards for Search, the campaign was a hit. It resulted in 871 domains linking to the research and coverage of the project – including by major outlets including USA Today, The Guardian, HuffPost, the Independent and more – captured some 15.5m views. Its success skyrocketed further when the research garnered the attention of A-listers including Jonah Hill (who it was found has Hollywood’s top pottymouth) and Nicolas Cage, who mentioned the study in his Netflix docuseries ‘History of Swear Words.’

Amazon Prime Video ‘Now it’s Prime Time, Creating Ads People Can’t Resist’ by Team5pm

Amazon Prime Video recently entered the Dutch market and needed a powerful way to increase brand awareness in a region where premium video was already dominated by Netflix and Dutch streaming service Videoland. So it partnered with Team5pm, which specializes in YouTube campaigns, to drive views, watch time, engagements and subscribers on YouTube.

Team5pm researched Dutch subcultures, established a YouTube channel and created long-form content tailored to unique audience segments and their interests to create loyal fanbases. As a result, Amazon Prime Video garnered more than 2 million hours of watch time and over 700,000 engagements, enabling it to seize more of the competitive Dutch market. And it won the music and entertainment category at The Drum Awards for Marketing.

Head to The Drum Awards website to find out more about all of our competitions, including categories, deadlines, judges and how to enter.

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