Sony Playstation Promo, Case study THE NATHAN DRAKE HALF-TUCK by Harrison & Shriftman, Ketchum New York

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THE NATHAN DRAKE HALF-TUCK

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Industry Video Games/Consoles
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Harrison & Shriftman
Account Supervisor Allison Goldstein
Agency Ketchum New York
Released November 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Technology and Manufacturing
Advertiser: SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA
Product/Service: UNCHARTED 3 VIDEO GAME
Agency: KETCHUM
Agency: HARRISON & SHRIFTMAN
Vice President/Account Supervisor: Jackie Blackmore (Ketchum)
Senior Account Executive: Stephanie Beal (Ketchum)
Senior Vice President: Rachel Shapiro (Harrison / Shriftman)
Account Manager: Venessa Correa (Harrison / Shriftman)
Vice President/Group Manager: Clark Hare (Ketchum)
Senior Director: Anu Rao (Harrison / Shriftman)
Account Supervisor: Allison Goldstein (Ketchum)
Vice President/Senior Media Specialist: Alan Danzis (Ketchum)
Event Producer: Marissa Sanchez (Harrison / Shriftman)
Senior Software Specialist: Jennifer Hallett (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
Director/Product Publicity: Jennifer Clark (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
Media placement: Launch Event - MSN Wonderwall, Huffington Post, Us Weekly, People StyleWatch, MSN Wonderwall, Etc. - September
Media placement: Consumer PR With Celebrity Spokesperson- Broadcast - E!, NBC NY Live, Global Grind, Haute Living, And The Today Show - October
Media placement: Consumer PR - Print/online - Details, VIBE, Complex, Reuters, Guyism, Wired - November

Summary of the Campaign
Sony PlayStation’s Uncharted video game series was known for combat and crashes. But to make its latest release, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, a true blockbuster, Sony PlayStation would need to reach moms and the female gamers who represent 42% of the gaming community.

So the PR team gave the game’s hero, Nathan Drake, star power. Mining online game forums the team uncovered a quirky detail that was generating buzz within the gaming community: Drake’s half-tucked shirt. Simultaneously, the trend was a hit in Hollywood. Here was a connection to pop culture that could be exploited to break away from conventional video game marketing approaches to garner mass awareness for the game - the half-tuck campaign was born.

Launching at New York's Fashion Week, where Jay Manuel, stylist and America’s Next Top Model personality, gave half-tuck makeovers, the campaign created a half-tuck fashion craze, from Facebook to New York’s Time's Square. For the first time, a video game action hero riveted the fashion elite, generating more than 258 stories and over 735m impressions, and the game broke all sales records for the series, selling more than 3.8m games on launch day. Uncharted 3 was nominated Game of the Year by several respected media, achieved a 92/100 Meta-score ranking and topped the charts as one of the best-selling games of 2011.

The Situation
Sony PlayStation, a leading video game company, specializes in developing both hardware and software properties including the Uncharted series.

With the sluggish economy and fierce competition from several other action video game sequels, Sony PlayStation needed Uncharted 3 to be a blockbuster, on the level of iconic franchise like Tomb Raider. To do that, Uncharted 3 needed mass appeal, reaching diverse audiences including moms and women who make up 42% of gamers, but who rarely share the affinities of male gamers. However, traditionally, the core audience had been young males (67% of Uncharted 2 owners are males, 18-35).

The Goal
1: Achieve record sales for Uncharted 3.

2: Expand awareness of Uncharted series beyond core gaming audience to women/moms.

3: Generate mass media coverage, emphasizing national broadcast and entertainment/lifestyle news.

Audience: moms and female gamers.

Research showed women gravitate to games with star characters, such as Tomb Raider’s Laura Croft. So the team mined game forums for a way to make Nathan Drake, the game’s hero, a star and soon discovered gamers loved his half-tucked shirt. After also reviewing the celebrity and fashion landscape, the team learned the half-tuck was an emerging trend among Hollywood A-listers and fashion designers.

The Strategy
• Make Nathan Drake a star, turning Uncharted 3 into a headline-making pop culture sensation that would resonate with women.

• Leverage the fascination of the half-tuck look among hard-core gamers, launching a non-traditional video game campaign focused on fashion and targeting fashion/lifestyle media.

• Move away from the traditional 'big bang' game marketing approach and launch a campaign that would virally create a growing groundswell of news.

Execution
NY Fashion Week: A pop-up dressing room in Herald Square invited people off the streets to receive a Nathan Drake half-tuck makeover by renowned personalities (Jay Manuel, Kourtney Kardashian, Ben Lyons). The tone was tongue-in-cheek, contrasting with the seriousness of Fashion Week.

(September – November 2011) Build Intrigue

Post-Fashion Week:

• Released celebrity photos illustrating the half-tuck look in pop culture;
• Dedicated half-tuck Facebook tab;
• A half-tuck ad on a Times Square billboard;
• An exclusive half-tuck mailer touting branded Henley shirts, high-end designer belts, etc.

(September – November 2011) Gain Credibility:

• Trusted third parties of the fashion industry - Jay Manuel, stylist and America’s Next Top Model personality and style master Lawrence Zarian, championed half-tuck with lifestyle, entertainment, fashion press;
• Gave the gaming community credit for first talking up Drake’s half-tuck, with an official Drake half-tuck contest hosted on Joystiq.

Documented Results
1: Achieve record sales for Uncharted 3

• Uncharted 3 is expected to become the biggest selling PS3 exclusive in the console’s history;
• Holiday sales reached 3.8m copies worldwide on launch day – more than Uncharted 1 and 2;
• Topped gaming sales charts for the 2011 holiday season;
• Rave media reviews with a Metacritic score of 92/100;
• Named 'Game of the Year' by IGN;
• One of the 'Best Games for 2011' by Spike TV, Time, MSNBC, NPR, Variety, Wired, Yahoo!

2. Expand Awareness Among Moms and Women

• Secured 25+ national placements in women’s lifestyle, entertainment and fashion outlets – Huffington Post, Us Weekly, People StyleWatch, MSN Wonderwall, Yahoo! OMG, Seventeen.

3: Generate mass media, emphasising national broadcast and entertainment/lifestyle news

• 258 stories and over 735m impressions;
• Mainstream consumer coverage in Details, VIBE, Complex, Reuters, Guyism, Wired;
• National broadcast hits on E!, NBC NY Live, Global Grind, and the Today Show.