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.