As many of you know, I am quite the video game fanatic. Now yes, I am an adult (at least most of the time), but I must say that I have been know to yell and throw controllers whenever some ten year old shoots me in Modern Warfare. Video games are an escape, a way to mentally shut down and not think about lighting sets or photoshoot budgets. I know I am not alone in this because most of the squad of guys that I race against on Forza are other photographers, art directors and creative directors. Heck, one of my best promotions ever was sending Xbox 360’s to clients. Yes, it was expensive, but it paid itself off many times over and more importantly gave my clients and I common goals of shooting zombies, or racing rather than worrying about always talking about work.
You see, creatives like myself need to have an aspect that is young at heart. Often times we are shooting ad campaigns that market to demographics that are younger than us and reaching them is what will keep the client coming back for further campaigns. If you want proof that youth is crucial to advertising, ask yourself this, “what was the last agency I visited that did NOT have a foosball table?” But I digress…
Yesterday was the first day of E3, or as many of us know it, the show where we see what video games we will be obsessing over on the days off for the coming year. As it always is, day one is the keynotes, and none were more important than that from Sony (Playstation) and Microsoft (Xbox).
Coming into the day, Microsoft had been fighting an uphill battle with their concept that games could not be resold, borrowed, the system has to connect to the internet everyday, oh and it might listen to you more than the NSA already does. For Sony, they needed to shed the PR dullness that has haunted them since the PS3 launch and actually cut the corporate veil away… and they did.
In a keynote that many guys jumped and clapped at while their wives watched HGTV, Sony did nothing short of saying, “we paid attention to our audience”, dropping the mic and walking off stage. Going into the keynote I had my mind made up that I would be buying myself, and probably some clients, Xbox Ones this holiday season. However, 30 seconds on a keynote changed all of that.
Beyond the details of Playstation vs. Xbox, or Sony vs. Microsoft, we saw a case study that will be talked about in PR and advertising classes for years to come. It was one of those rare moments where brand loyalty and product support swapped in a moment. It was incredible.