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Sony PlayStation Creative Strategy Report (Assessment)

The brand chosen for the marketing creative strategy is Sony PlayStation. The new product from the brand is a new model of Sony PlayStation home video game console that is going to be advertised among teenagers and young adults.

The Purpose of the Project

The purpose of the project is to advertise the new PlayStation console among the target market with the help of the Internet, i.e. social media, and draw the consumers’ attention to the product by means of creative advertising and viral videos/promo-campaigns. Such an approach will allow the team to address the target market correctly and through such means that are used by the target market on a daily basis. The main tool of the promo-campaign is the social media as they allow reaching out to creative consumers and target market and improve the presence and recognition of the brand in the Web 2.0.

The target markets of the project are the teenagers (approx. 10-19 y.o.) and young adults (approx. 20-28) who are active users of social media and the Web. As it was stated in one of the studies devoted to blogs as marketing tools, the social media, and its users can be a perfect tool for a successful campaign of a product (Maurya 76). Nevertheless, any promo campaigns online need to be implemented with caution as inefficient planning will most likely result in a catastrophe.

Thus, to advertise the new PlayStation console creatively and successfully, it is necessary to understand our target market and its wishes. The target market of the product belongs to the millennial generation whose social interaction heavily relies on social media and other online resources.

What Are We Going to Tell Our Target?

The target market of Sony PlayStation can vary; although it does target younger generations, PlayStation users that are older than 30, 40, 50, etc. also exist and their number is not small. Thus, it is important to understand what the representatives of the target market want to hear. Hard-core gamers, predominantly male and between 18-25 years, are interested in innovations and the gaming process itself, while mainstream players do not seek the truth “gaming process” but rather entertainment.

Thus, the brand needs to address both types of consumers but with different messages. As it was done with PS 4, to address the hardcore gamers and their wishes, the campaign must be launched at websites and in magazines that this target market uses, i.e. games.com. As hardcore gamers are already familiar with the brand, it is not necessary to provide an advertisement that will explain what Sony PlayStation is and how it can be used. As proficient gamers stay focused on gamers’ news, it seems reasonable to provide an intriguing message, possibly in the form of a trailer, about the new console. Thus, rebuilding and refreshing of the gaming experience is what these customers want (Hou et al. 617).

As to mainstream gamers, these often can be represented by parents of children who like to play console games or individuals who are not fans of gaming but regard it as entertainment. For this target market, Sony PS can be presented as entertainment for the whole family that maybe even better than films and TV series.

Interaction Goals

It has now become clear that modern advertisement is transforming into an interactive online tool that allows the consumers to experience the product and not simply “consume” its description in the form of videos, pictures, or music. As some of the consumers spend almost half of their day on such social networks as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, etc., it seems reasonable to try engaging the consumers in the interaction with the brand (Jothi 237).

According to Jothi, 32% of social networks’ users have come across web banner advertisements while they were using the network (238). However, this type of interaction through ads on social networks is only useful when we want to approach people who are not familiar with the product. Another strategy called “word-of-mouth” can be used to increase the number of individuals that can be interested in the product. The goals of all these interactions are to raise awareness of the new upcoming product in the social networks and attract as many “newcomers” as possible by advertising the product through video bloggers, video advertisements, trailers, and teaser trailers.

However, one of the biggest advantages of such advertisement and interaction is the company’s ability to evaluate the positive and negative feedback from the users (Gregurec, Tomaš, and Ćorić 232). Word-of-mouth strategy allows the brand to build trust between the brand and consumers who tend to approach the advertisement from their friends and relatives more attentively as the one on the TV.

The development of apps that are presented to the customers prior to the launch of the product advertisement campaign is also one of the key marketing strategies that shape the modern, so-called ‘viral’ advertisement. Some of the gaming platforms (e.g. Steam) provide a free limited trial of games. Such interaction would also be helpful in promoting the product: the consumers who purchase the PlayStation also receive free trials to several games. This approach is called co-branding and is possible when another brand that offers console games is interested in working with our brand.

What Impact or Role Do We Want Users to Have with the Message?

The brand message plays a crucial role in advertising the product to the consumer. Thus, the consumers need to feel that the message was designed for them and not to simply promote the product. As Ekhlassi, Maghsoodi, and Mehrmanesh argue, personal selling is one of the most effective means of promoting the product (762). However, it is also rather expensive. Thus, to combine users’ interaction with the message and personal selling, it seems reasonable to suggest parasocial interaction in advertising that allows the user to engage with the brand message more directly than through other types of advertising.

A teaser trailer will awake interest, while parasocial interaction with a celebrity or game characters during the next trailer will help the user connect with the message and brand more actively. Although employees who communicate with users through social networks on behalf of the brand often use prescribed scripts and standardized forms, such interaction fosters users’ loyalty to the brand and boosts the feeling of connection to it (Labrecque 135). Another form of connecting the users to the brand message is developing an application that will allow users to create an online avatar and explore the brand’s features (see Marvel’s “Contest of Champions” app). Exploration of the brand’s personality and history can significantly increase consumers’ willingness to purchase the product.

What Kind of Social Currency Does Our Target Have?

The social currency of our target depends on the representatives of the target market that we discussed above. For example, two parents with an 8-year-old boy will discuss PlayStation console on their Facebook walls or on Twitter not as frequently as serious gamers who have been engaged in the video gaming industry for more than five or six years. The first type of target market may mention the console as a gift for the child or as an interesting hobby that made the family laugh and spend time together.

However, serious gamers will devote much of their time discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the new product, no matter if they are big fans of the brand or prefer Xbox to PlayStation. It is necessary to understand that while mainstream gamers will possibly post pictures on Instagram discussing the new hobby or purchase in short, but emotional sentences, serious gamers are expected to share their opinions on gaming portals, on each other’s walls, on the brand’s social networks’ pages, on their blogs, and in comment sections of magazines that will discuss the product.

Hence, the brand should take into account the experienced gamers’ opinion because playing a PlayStation console has become a part of their everyday life a long time ago. However, it does not mean that mainstream gamers’ opinion does not matter.

These users are able to promote the product to other users of social networks that were not interested in buying a console initially. It is advisable to look through the hashtag #PlayStation on Instagram and other social networks to understand what type of consumers prefer sharing their experience with the brand. However, as the popularity of console games increases and “geeky” activities become synonyms to “cool” activities, it is possible to assume that both types of gamers will appreciate the product.

How Will We Measure the Effectiveness of the Creative Strategy?

Evaluating the efficiency of marketing strategies is important for the future company’s projects and its budget. New tendencies in marketing require original approaches and concentration on the integrated comprehension of marketing practice. There are several methods we may employ while measuring the effectiveness of our creative strategy.

The first approach is advanced planning and creating a “response-attribution” framework (Krishnamurthy and Ewald par. 4). To successfully implement this method, we shall need to identify the kinds of campaigns which will be tracked, find which data is accessible to correspond to the feedback, and decide whether the response statistics can be improved (Krishnamurthy and Ewald par. 4).

Another method is designing control groups for a precise assessment of the campaign rise (Krishnamurthy and Ewald par. 7). This approach is especially vital for our project as the digital media advancement requires competent determining of the control groups which provides the correct accounting of the cumulative outcomes.

Delineating the appropriate evaluation metrics also is essential when measuring the strategy’s effectiveness. A strong metrics structure will help to see the interaction between the company’s corporate targets and the marketing strategies (Krishnamurthy and Ewald par. 9-10).

The next approach is to outline the precise attribution standards. This method involves creating the rules for the project’s channels, concentrating on “more-generalized” rules, and checking the standards for each project as they may have various outcomes in different circumstances (Krishnamurthy and Ewald par. 11).

Finally, we can employ the analytic and visual reporting instruments for measuring the strategy’s efficiency. These tools allow the systematic checking of the metrics and help create the reports of the project’s cusses (Krishnamurthy and Ewald par. 13).

Employing these approaches will make it possible to check the effectiveness of the strategy and to design a further action plan.

Works Cited

Ekhlassi, Amir, Vahid Maghsoodi, and Shiva Mehrmanesh. “Determining the Integrated Marketing Communication Tools for Different Stages of Customer Relationship in Digital Era.” International Journal of Information and Electronics Engineering, vol. 2, no. 5, 2012, pp. 761-765.

Gregurec, Iva, Boris Tomaš, and Ana Ćorić. “Word-of-Mouth Marketing within Social Networking Sites.” Proceedings of the 22nd Central European Conference on Information and Intelligent Systems, vol. 2, no. 2, 2011, pp. 227-233.

Hou, Jinghui, Yujung Nam, Wei Peng, and Kwan Min Lee. “Effects of Screen Size, Viewing Angle, and Players’ Immersion Tendencies on Game Experience.” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 28, no. 2, 2012, pp. 617-623.

Jothi, P. “Analysis of Social Networking Sites: A Study on Effective Communication Strategy in Developing Brand Communication.” Journal of Media and Communication Studies, vol. 3, no.7, 2011, pp. 234-242.

Krishnamurthy, Ram, and Brad Ewald. “MarketingProfs. 2009. Web.

Labrecque, Lauren I. “Fostering Consumer–Brand Relationships in Social Media Environments: The Role of Parasocial Interaction.” Journal of Interactive Marketing, vol. 28, no. 2, 2014, pp. 134-148.

Maurya, Mohit. “Evolution of Blogs as a Credible Marketing Communication Tool.” Journal of Case Research, vol. 2, no.1, 2011, pp. 71-90.

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