With so many first-person shooter games in the market, distinguishing among them can be tough, even for a relatively well-known game franchise. For “Second Son,” the third entry in the inFAMOUS series for the PlayStation console, Sony is looking to move the game into the upper echelon by highlighting emotion and story over gameplay and features.
“What we found [when asking about the game franchise], is that gamers saw it as a good game, but not as a top-tier game,” Asad Qizilbash, senior director of marketing, first party games for Sony Computer Entertainment America, tells Marketing Daily. “You see a lot of first-person-shooter games do a lot of gameplay ads. Early on, we knew we wanted to pivot and do something more provocative and emotional.”
So rather than show heavy amounts of gameplay or cite the advanced graphics and features, Sony and its agency -- BBH New York -- opted for a more narrative approach, emphasizing the theme “Enjoy your power.”
“Everything we do is going to ladder up to [PlayStation tagline] ‘Greatness Awaits,’” says John Patroulis, chief creative officer at BBH. “We’re always trying to find, ‘What is the greatness’? People reveling in their powers led us to ‘Enjoy your power.’”
The centerpiece of the campaign is a 90-second short film that shows a futuristic city of Seattle under lockdown. As soldiers are roused out of their bunks and move downtown in armored vehicles, there are indications of an insurgent causing havoc (using graffiti and other markers). By the end of the video, the soldiers have convened in an intersection marked with a bullseye and the phrase “You are here.” The game's hero, Deslin, appears briefly before launching into the sky in a fireball and landing back on the spot in an explosive crash that disperses the troops.
“While we didn’t show [Deslin’s] powers explicitly, there’s clues and hints that he’s used these powers throughout the film,” says Ari Weiss, executive creative director, BBH New York.
Television advertising will be based on the short film, which will also be supported with online advertising encouraging gamers to “Enjoy your power.” Meanwhile, game developer Sucker Punch has released a trailer showcasing the gameplay, advanced graphics and features.