By Manning Gottlieb OMD Challenge
We wanted to engage with influential gamers who live outside the corporate communications model.
PlayStation2 are the generic gaming console. However, success breeds complacency.
With PS3 on the horizon we needed to engage with the cutting-edge gaming community – so vital to PlayStation’s long-term credibility and prosperity and take more risks.
We freed PlayStation’s marketing team of their responsibilities and put one of the web’s most creative and subversive communities (b3ta.com) in charge of one of the world’s biggest brands.
This influential community lives outside the corporate communications model. Fiercely independent, they relish their freedom and outsider status.
Conversely most big brands fear freedom. Instead, brands draw boundaries, impose values and exert strict image controls.
PlayStation sees things differently. They see freedom as imagination, invention, rebellion.
So, using b3ta.com’s weekly picture challenge we invited their members to take control of the brand and create their own interpretation of PlayStation and the ‘freedom’ theme.
The internet is the ultimate ‘freedom’ medium. For our audience it is the last frontier in a heavily regulated media world and is a wild west of content and creativity. Rather than engage with media owners, they create their own media, post it and share it amongst like-minded individuals.
By asking b3ta members to create their own PlayStation content, without any constraints, we engaged an audience who would dismiss more conventional communication methods out of hand.
Yahoo! and OMD’s recent ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’ study vividly demonstrates gamers’ preference for the Internet and the absence of other, more traditional, channels in their lives. Of all the communication alternatives, only friends and magazines register.
PlayStation’s cutting-edge audience live even further off the mainstream grid. As such, b3ta’s subversive, rebellious and irreverent picture challenges were the ideal forum for PlayStation to take risks and live up to their belief in freedom.
Over 1 million users watched as 650 members responded to our invitation… more than three times the norm.
Some called B3TA corporate whores, some were highly political, some just funny, but over 80 per cent showed an overwhelming passion for PlayStation and relished the opportunity to help keep the brand free.
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