GENERATING ADVOCACY by Manning Gottlieb OMD London for Sony Playstation

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GENERATING ADVOCACY

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Industry Video Games/Consoles
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Manning Gottlieb OMD London
Released December 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Other Consumer Products (including Durable Goods)
Advertiser: SONY PLAYSTATION
Product/Service: MASSIVE ACTION GAME (M.A.G)
Date of First Appearance: Dec 26 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: MANNING GOTTLIEB OMD, London, UNITED KINGDOM
Entry URL: http://uk.playstation.com/psn/games/detail/item156284/MAG%E2%84%A2/
Communications Planning Manager: Julian Leeper (Manning Gottlieb OMD)
Digital Account Manager: Dan van Leeuwen (Manning Gottlieb OMD)
Business Director: Michael Florence (Manning Gottlieb OMD)
Account Director: Michael Deane (Manning Gottlieb OMD)
Media placement: Online - Eurogamer And IGN.com Partnerships - 15 Bursts With Each. - 26th December 2009
Media placement: Experiential - The M.A.G Tournament Event (London) - 20th January 2010

Results and Effectiveness
The M.A.G. tournament inspired the gaming communities, driving mass awareness by capturing headline news and generating M.A.G. related content across blogs, forums and gaming sites. The advocacy created within the gaming communities was priceless! In addition to paid-for display, both Eurogamer and IGN supported the tournament with regular editorial and video content, providing £100k of added media value. PlayStation had to re-order the game as sales caught them by surprise. We sold 60k units in the first 3 weeks, smashing the sales forecast of 20k. M.A.G. was no. 1 in the PlayStation 3 sales chart.

Creative Execution
We pitched two of the biggest gaming communities, Eurogamer and IGN, against each other, live, at a M.A.G. Tournament. The winning community would get to take on the game's developers in the States - a dream prize for any gamer. Pitching two media owners against each other was a media first (the gaming equivalent of pitching Facebook vs. MySpace). There was a huge amount of pride at stake - neither could afford to lose. The tournament captured the industry’s imagination, giving us a great platform to produce content and generate buzz. Using the strategy ‘Your Community Needs You’, both Eurogamer and IGN recruited and trained up their own armies. Thousands of gamers applied to represent both communities, and thousands of blogs picked up the much anticipated tournament. Euorgamer won the tournament at the live event, but then lost (unsurprisingly) to the developers.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Massive Action Game (M.A.G.) is the largest online multi-player war game ever; 256 players, split into two armies, fight at the same time. Due to the skill levels required to play, M.A.G. is for hardcore gamers only. Hardcore gamers’ key sources of influence are blogs, forums and gaming editorials. The challenge we faced was that the gaming community had low expectations for the release of M.A.G., and there was no word of mouth. What’s more, we were launching in a cluttered December 2009, against much bigger competitor game releases. With only £80k, we needed to somehow standout and generate M.A.G advocacy. Hardcore gamers seek recognition within their community and are motivated by status – they want to be the ‘Best of the Best’. If we could devise a solution that tapped into this loyalty and competitive streak, we could get hardcore gamers involved and excited about M.A.G.