I love Sony. They are a company which creates extremely high quality products and unique innovations. Currently owning a PlayStation 3, Sony television and Xperia Z, each of them are brilliant products that I have been more than satisfied with procuring. Sony’s use of marketing for its PlayStation consoles is so effective but simple at the same time. Personally, I find that they are successful in grabbing the attention of people by focusing on their audience as a whole and specifically connecting with them as gamers.
Marketing has certainly changed significantly in each era of the console cycles. With an emphasis on social networking and reliance on the internet, Sony certainly received the memo each and every time to adapt. Of course television commercials are still used but also Sony effectively reaches out to its audience through other mediums.
Sony continues to be a driving force in innovation and the products certainly appeal to the public. Concentrating on gaming solely, they are phenomenal in how they interact with the community. For example, their video in 2013, ‘For The Players Since 1995’, was one which had me captivated from beginning to end. Inspired by the #PlayStationMemories which was trending on Twitter before the release of the PlayStation 4, Sony created a truly remarkable video response to its fans.
The four minute video featured on YouTube, with it being one continuous shot around the bedroom of a teenager in London, jumping through the decades and reminiscing in PlayStation memories. Every little detail was added to this video, requiring me to watch it multiple times to pick-up on the subtle additions which were overlooked in previous viewings. With the use of transition shots Sony demonstrated the innovation of its consoles overtime and how they are replaced in the video with their redesigned counterparts.
For me, this was an effective marketing response to its established audience and a fitting tribute from Sony to those who have supported them ever since the initial release of the PlayStation One in 1995. However, they can certainly branch out of their target audience and appeal on a wider spectrum of the consumer base, bringing new members into the ‘family’ of PlayStation.
Sony’s marketing skills are certainly linked with their history in creating some truly memorable and catchy slogans. One of my favourites, ‘This is living’, from the PlayStation 3, was simple but effective in defining Sony’s objective of delivering this experience with its seventh generation console.
Two of their recent phrases, ‘This is for the players’ and ‘Greatness Awaits’, they know how to hit home with their audience. Sony has continued to stress how their home console is a gaming machine first, before an entertainment system. These were some of the comments they have continued to make and also taken swipes at Microsoft on a number of occasions regarding certain policies: Xbox One’s original features which required mandatory internet connection and restriction on pre-owned games.
Live In Your World, Play In Ours.
Sony is by no means perfect with marketing; this is evident in the failure to build on certain products such as the PSP go. However, they were able to bolster the struggling PlayStation 3 early in its console cycle with a price drop and bringing some truly remarkable IPs. With the ability to support their products on the market, Sony is certainly a powerhouse.
Sony’s handheld, the PlayStation Vita, is struggling to gain some momentum in the market and compete with Nintendo’s 3DS system. However, with the release of the PS4, Sony is certainly supporting its product and establishing a wider audience for the handheld through the integration which the PS4 offers. Additionally, with Sony shipping 5.3 million units of the PS4 since November 2013, the figures are astonishing for how successful it has been (these numbers are certainly expected to rise with the release in Japan).
Not taking anything away from Microsoft or Nintendo, both of whom are unique in how they approach their audience, but I personally think Sony is king when it comes to marketing. Yet, Nintendo’s certain creation of the ‘Nintendo Girls Club’ channel on YouTube is a completely absurd decision to make. Do not even call me a so-called ‘fan boy’, I own Nintendo and Microsoft systems too. With Sony, it is their ability to reach out to the audience as a whole and emphasise the nostalgic memories they have offered ever since 1995.