SCEE are doing it wrong…

As good as he is, even KB can’t make the Move look cool…

Yesterday, SCEA announced a new marketing campaign for Playstation: Long Live Play, which has resulted in a truly epic advert promoting Sony’s best game characters and franchises, as well as celebrating the gamer controlling them. It shows that the US really gets how to market the brand, how to make the most of its assets and how to make good adverts, both televisual and poster-based. This follows on from the self-aware and sometimes hilarious Kevin Butler character in their ads for the past year. They are doing a very good job at advertising to a US console market dominated by Microsoft.

As for SCEE? Well, can you remember the last time you saw an advert for Playstation? I can – it was 2000, when the PS2 first game out. And I’ve seen nothing since, barring a few for specific games, and even these are mainly third-party titles directed at Xbox owners. Not even the American ads make it over, even though nothing would be lost in translation and it would be really, really, easy to do. Their efforts have been lackluster at best.
Poor little Sackboy is unloved
in his native country
For whatever reason, Sony just don’t want to market the brand in Europe. I guess there’s a sense of logic to the fact that they’re concentrating on US sales where they’re not as strong, but in ignoring Europe, they risk alienating one of the markets that support the company. And, more importantly for a big company, they are missing out on what seems like easy money. Let’s take Sackboy, for instance. Sackboy is one of the poster-children of Sony’s gaming consoles and given the potential appeal with children, the marketing bod inside anyone would see dollar signs in their eyes. The Americans did – the pre-order for LittleBigPlanet 2 came with a Sackboy plushie toy and bookends, as well as there being a substantial amount of merchandise abroad. The EU, however, got nothing. It’s baffling, especially considering the game is British-made.
This disparity between the US and the EU region extends to the Store and Plus as well – The US regularly get more freebies and discounts bundled in with their subscription, priority on DLC and games and much, much better sales. Over here, we get ridiculously overpriced digital downloads when compared to the physical copies of the game and constant excuses from the online blog update team. I don’t blame them, as that’s what they’ve been told to say, but when US customers get treated with a lot more reverence than customers elsewhere, you have to ask yourself why they keep doing this?
Microsoft and Steam have the right approach, in that their online stores have very few regional discrepancies and all the marketing seems to be under one umbrella rather than the maze of sub-divisions through all of Sony’s different regions. Sony need to realise that all customers need to be treated equally, not special treatment given to some.
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