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By The Drum | Editorial

November 30, 2023 | 3 min read

Sony's PlayStation 5 sold out almost instantly at its launch, so the brand needed to reignite gamers' interest in 2023 when more consoles became available. The campaign was an incredible success, so much so it scooped the following awards at The Drum's Awards for Media: Innovation or Disruption, Experience, Out of Home, Innovative Campaign (over $1m) and The Chair's Award. Here is the award-winning case study.

Immediately following the original launch of PS5 in 2020, it became very difficult, very quickly, to get your hands on a console. But in 2023, more PlayStation 5 consoles hit the shelves globally. So how do you reignite the hype around the brand, the console and the worlds that PS5 unlocks?

We knew that PlayStation lovers often keep their consoles for years and can feel there is no need to upgrade. So, our strategy was to excite players with the incredible experiences waiting for them on PS5 and tap into the global demand and excitement for the exclusive gameplay PS5 offers, by bringing those worlds to life in unique ways globally. All with the goal of giving yet-to-be PS5 console owners that drive to hit the freshly restocked shelves - and get their hands on a PS5.

Introducing… Live from PS5 - a breaking news story that attracted global audience attention. ‘Live From PS5’ didn’t just look and sound like a news network. It behaved like one too. ‘Live From PS5’ was designed to mimic a real news network, featuring journalists from around the world reporting on the captivating happenings within the various PS5 worlds. Crash landing in locations around the world, extraordinary game worlds were brought to life from the most popular PS5 titles such as Kratos’ Leviathan Axe, Fimbulwinter like weather and unidentified footprints of mysterious beasts. Branded ‘Live from PS5’ news vans parked up at each site, cordoned off with branded tape, to add to the mystery of the experience.

The campaign launched with a global ‘Live From PS5’ film that followed a faux PS5 news crew, who covered the story in every corner of the globe. With the breaking news story reporting on the extraordinary events within the PS5 worlds, we drove hype and amplified the ATL ad campaign with newsworthy real-world activations and brand experience executions. Each market had its own IP activation in the form of an IRL game moment which landed in high-footfall locations.

The execution of the mixed-media campaign was both ambitious and comprehensive. The campaign spanned 51 markets and ran in 32 languages, with journalists reporting real-time news updates. Over 600 assets were deployed across multiple channels, including television, social media, out-of-home advertising, digital displays, and high-impact special-builds, all within a 4-week period.

The results were nothing short of remarkable. The campaign effectively reinvigorated the demand for the PS5 console, achieving significant sales growth and solidifying its place as a game-changing product in the gaming industry. Sony sold 19.1 million PlayStation 5 consoles in the financial year, beating their own forecast of 18 million. That was up 66% from 11.5 million PS5 units sold in the previous fiscal year.

In stats:: 51 markets 32 languages 19.1 million PS5s sold 66% sales uplift, YOY 38.3 million video views 4.16 billion impressions 2.2 million post engagements

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