After selling over 20 million PlayStation 4 units in a hotly competitive market, Sony was the acknowledged king of next-gen console gaming. The reach of their PlayStation Network extended to 70 countries. But they were about to embark on a bold new venture with their first original scripted drama series. So they turned to the experts: Canyon Design Group, an agency with rich experience in launching and sustaining prestige drama series.
Inspired by an award-winning series of comics, Powers presented unusual challenges. No ordinary superhero show, its story focuses on human cops patrolling a world where superhuman abilities run rampant. The campaign couldn’t be anything ordinary, either. This wasn’t simply a case of launching a new show. It was transforming Sony PlayStation Network into the newest contender in the original streaming content race.
FAR BEYOND ORDINARY
Canyon tackled the problem head-on, edging out top competing agencies with a fully-integrated 360 campaign that aligned print, digital, and A/V with a single impactful message. Canyon provided a go-to-market strategy, recommending a roll-out that leveraged owned media, including social/shareable content.
The journey began with a series of cinemagraphs that Canyon conceived, produced, and finished, adding photographic enhancements and special effects. The subtle, shareable videos introduced key characters and concepts, introduced via social media over several weeks. Targeting core gamer and comics fans, they were designed to establish credibility and create social buzz, building advocacy at a grass-roots level.
REACH FOR THE HEIGHTS
To speak to the audience, the campaign needed to address the aspirations that drive the gaming audience. Yet the messaging also had to convey the pedigree of prestige drama promised by the brand of Sony Pictures Television, the studio that delivered Breaking Bad.
Canyon achieved these goals by distilling the heart of the series down to a single, compelling, iconic image that translated across multiple media. Canyon delivered the message with richly evocative key art featuring series star Sharlto Copley.
As the launch date approached the campaign went wider with OOH pieces in major markets. A digiboard piece connected the cinemagraphs into a visual introduction of the world of Powers. Designed to leverage PlayStation’s access to Sony’s Times Square Jumbotron, the piece dominated the space, reaching thousands of eyes of every day for over a month.
The capstone of the campaign were the bold :15 and :30 original A/V spots conceived, written and executive produced by Canyon. The spots feature a dizzying 540-degree camera move around Sharlto Copley as his character’s voiceover speaks to a central theme of the series: the struggle to find purpose in a world where some can fly. The spots appeared on-air and across the digital space, launching from targeted rich media units that strategically implemented creative from the campaign.
The breakthrough :30 trailer quickly racked up views on the official Sony PlayStation YouTube channel. In a matter of weeks, it became one of the channel’s top 5 all-time videos with over 15 million views.