We are only one measly week away from the grand launch of the PlayStation Vita and how does Sony plan on kicking off their new baby's debut? By creating a multimillion dollar marketing campaign of course.
"Never Stop Playing" is the name of the campaign and has cost Sony a shiny penny of $50 million dollars. Expect to get bombarded with messages for the next couple of weeks (and beyond) enticing gamers to pick up the Vita.
Sony is definitely trying to bank on the handheld's big release in the US - to gain some momentum after the lackluster debut in Japan almost two months ago.
The senior director for PlayStation handheld consoles, John Koller, states that the Vita will allow users to feel just as engaged as if they were still playing their consoles from home. The demographic they are shooting for with the Vita: 20-year-old men who game eight hours a week or more and own a PS3.
The only real competition they feel they have are handheld phones capable of gaming.
Koller threw out the fifty-million dollar figure, asserting it represents "the largest platform launch in terms of marketing investment we’ve ever had." Sony is working with Deustch, a very prestigious marketing agency, to help deliver "Never Stop Playing." This message will be featured everywhere from billboards and television commercials to retail partnerships and digital banners. A big focus of course will be social media - follow the conversation at #GameChanger.
Aside from traditional outlets and social media, Sony will be looking to put the Vita right in the palm of gamer's hands with various pop-up stores that are being entitled "Vita Social Clubs" and can be found in big cities such as San Francisco, Boston, and Los Angeles.
Seen below is the beginning of the ad campaign in the form of a brilliantly edited television commercial. The TV spot flows perfectly with the tone Sony is trying to sell gamers on - the capability to leave home and continue playing. Check out the TV spot below!
Jason Elm, the executive vice president and creative director at Deutsch says, "gaming is no longer playing alone in a basement by one person with one machine; it's all networked." Expect to see this message driven home during commercial breaks throughout The Simpsons, South Park, Tosh.0, and the NBA and NCAA basketball season. No one is safe and the campaign will even be broadcast within the Howard Stern show on Sirius Radio during March Madness.
Many analysts (as well as our own hands-on time with the device) attest that the Vita is an impressive piece of hardware - but there's definitely question as to its ability to do well in the US market. A study by a market research firm, IDC, discovered that sales from handheld gaming devices have dropped from $18.1 billion in 2008 to $10.7 billion in 2010.
The Vita suffered from a few launch problems when it released in Japan, so hopefully Sony has knocked out those kinks before next week. Sales were not the greatest overseas either and certain retailers dropped the price of the 3G model. Through high amounts of optimism, Sony backs up the Vita and its sales numbers stating that they're confident in the numbers being sold.
Hopefully for Sony, the "Never Stop Playing" will sink in and get more buzz in the US market to help the handheld device flourish favorably for the entertainment conglomerate.
The PS Vita will be out next week, February 22nd! Will you be getting one?
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Source: New York Times