Despite outselling Xbox across the board, PlayStation were losing ground with young people, and they needed a campaign that would help them turn it around.
Taking the lead strategy role, I decided to focus on an audience of vocal and opinionated gamers who would act as the gateway to their friendship groups. I ran a series of insight sessions uncovering their relationship with gaming, their influences, and their path to purchase. We uncovered a key challenge, but also a big opportunity.
The big challenge was how to reach them – young gamers are increasingly turning away from traditional media channels, and dark social channels (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage) were significantly dominating their communications. We knew these private conversations between gamers were playing a big influence on decision making and preference, but we were unable to play a role in them.
However, there a big opportunity also came from the insight sessions. We discovered that gamers love having discussions about gaming, and they are heavily dependent on visual communication (gifs, emojis, bitmojis, etc), but there are no visual tools tailored for gamers. For example, when they score a great goal in Rocket League they will use a reaction gif to express their emotion, but the content is largely from other areas of life than gaming.
This made our job clear – we needed to create a campaign that would live inside dark social and give gamers the tools to communicate better, with PlayStation at the heart of it.
We decided to partner with Giphy (the world’s biggest gif platform, with 100M daily users sending 1BN gifs a day) to create a branded PlayStation gif hub. Working closely with our audience we co-created each gif to ensure authenticity and relevance.
We also launched it with two of The Sidemen (some of the biggest YouTubers in gaming) as well as a whole range of mid-tier influencers, encouraging them to use them in their day to day conversations.