CLIENT OF THE WEEK: Sony innovates to dominate - David Patton doesn’t want PlayStation to sit back on its laurels

David Patton, European marketing director at Sony Computer Entertainment, is a bit nervous.

David Patton, European marketing director at Sony Computer

Entertainment, is a bit nervous.

His new advertising campaign through TBWA GGT Simons Palmer is due to

break at the end of this week and he’s searching for some feedback from

the Campaign editorial office. ’What do I think of the work?’, ’Has

anyone picked it as a Turkey?’ and ’Who’s reviewing it for Private

View?’ are the questions he’s keen to get answered.

Sony is putting pounds 4 million behind a new branding campaign starring

Fi-Fi, a Scottish cyber chick who preaches to viewers about ’mental

wealth’ in an accent which takes some deciphering.

There can be no doubt that this campaign is a far cry from the last.

’Double life’ was designed to appeal to a broad audience and dispel the

myth that gaming is the preserve of teenagers. It featured a range of

people including a transvestite and pregnant woman.

’The worst thing in advertising is to have a good idea, stick with it

and come up with endless manifestations,’ Patton says. ’It would have

been easy to do that with ’double life’ but it wouldn’t have fitted the

brief. The market has moved on.’

The trick this time, Patton says, is to address the success that ’double

life’ has helped create for PlayStation. ’People have become too

comfortable with the brand. We need to challenge consumers again. Some

people will love the campaign, some will be in awe of it, others will

hate it and some will no doubt be disgusted by it, but no-one will be

indifferent to it.’

The secret of ’mental wealth’ is that there is no point of


’What can they possibly compare it to?’ Patton asks.

Not for the first time, PlayStation and Sega are going head to head,

having both launched multi-million pound campaigns in the last


Patton, of course, is confident his will come out on top. ’Sega has been

in a coma for the past four years,’ he says. ’The new campaign is too

fragmented to get a grasp on where it’s going.’

Patton lives and breathes PlayStation. Since graduating from

Wolverhampton University in 1991 with a degree in business and marketing

he’s spent his entire career in gaming. He joined Nintendo as an

assistant product manager in 1991 and moved quickly up the ranks before

moving to Sony Computer Entertainment as European software marketing

manager in 1995.

Patton comes across as a decent bloke, one you wouldn’t mind sinking a

couple of pints with, and he is renowned for his relaxed demeanour.

He is bashful about being born in Maidenhead and dodges questions on his

hobbies saying, ’Oh God, is this the bit where I have to make myself

sound like an action man?’ Thankfully, he doesn’t bother.