Cannes Lions

SONY PLAYSTATION

DEUTSCH INC., Los Angeles / SONY / 2011

Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Once the leaders of the video gaming industry, PlayStation lost it’s way with the launch of the PS3. Seen as arrogant and out of touch, they needed a way to win back the hearts of gamers and remind them of what they liked about PlayStation in the first place.

Enter Kevin Butler, fictitious Vice President of Everything PlayStation. With his trademark comedic wit, over-the-top dramatic flair, and arsenal of sharp neckties he reached out to gamers and non-gamers alike across all media platforms – television, social media, long-form web videos, digital display, PR, live speaking engagements, out of home, and even in-game-playable characters.

Execution

The PlayStation Kevin Butler campaign kicked off on television, with 18 TV spots – both hardware and software focused – released over the year.

We quickly implemented our plan to make Kevin Butler real in the hearts and minds of gamers. We used social media – initiated an ongoing Twitter campaign that has made KB the most followed advertising character ever (80,000 followers and counting), gave Kevin his own YouTube channel with nearly 30,000 subscribers, and used them to launch a series of successful long-form web videos. We then took KB to the people, with outdoor boards and a surprise live appearance that stole the show at the 2010 E3 Expo. He conducted print and television interviews, disarmed an international crisis with New Zealand, became a playable character in three separate games, and even created a sandwich that became an internet sensation.

Outcome

With the launch of the Kevin Butler campaign PS3 hardware units sold rose 70%, over 60% higher than industry analysts projected. In addition, software units sold are up 31%.

More importantly, PlayStation went from a company seen as "arrogant" and "out of touch" by gamers to one that recaptured their hearts and affections. As one of Kevin Butler’s 80,000 Twitter followers said "THIS IS AWESOME!!! Playstation is back. Thank god. The arrogance is gone. We got our old Sony back."

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