Sony is spending £750,000 to ensure PlayStation Move is embraced by mainstream audiences when it launches next week.
But the ad spend dodges specialist media and games retail to favour a supermarket tour, lifestyle press promotions and ads around major TV shows such as Big Brother, X-Factor and Premier League football matches.
The format-holder has intentionally avoided much pre-release hype, instead lining up a campaign that starts on launch day designed to reach families.
The £750k week one push is only the first wave of activity for the new motion controller. Sony wants the device to be an evergreen seller, and has booked its campaign all the way until Christmas, with the total figure rising to over £2m.
“It is about creating that massive event spike during the launch week, pushing it out to new audiences and continuing on last year’s ‘The Game Is Just The Start’ campaign,” Sony’s UK marketing manager Adam Boita told MCV this week.
“Pre-orders are always important, but Move is not necessarily a pre-order product. It’s not like Halo or World of Warcraft expansions, where people want to get hold of it day one. It is an evergreen product. And whereas pre-orders are very important, it is not necessarily the key focus.”
It is hoped launch titles EyePet, Start The Party, Kung Fu Rider and Sports Champions will attract social gamers.
Sony will host a 30-date nationwide retail tour that runs from launch day next Friday, September 17th to Saturday, October 30th, and will mostly visit Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco sites.
Mass-market retail is central to Sony’s plans, with the platform holder sending a 40ft truck to head offices and major shopping centres to train staff on Move and other PlayStation products. The firm has also set up a specialist Move website for retail employees.
“All the retailers have got on board with it and really appreciate that we are making this effort to go around the country, get them involved, and encourage their store staff to get hands on the product,” said trade marketing manager Richard Ives.
“It is no small effort for us to get this 40ft truck manned and around. But we think it is invaluable and gets retail on board, not just with Move but also 3D, sowing the seeds of those new elements that are coming out in the future. It is about giving them an incentive to find out about the product themselves.”