PlayStation sells new game on team playing

TBWA/London has created a pan-European ad campaign to back the launch of Sony PlayStation's latest game, Socom: US Navy Seals, which marks the launch of PlayStation 2's online gaming services across Europe.

The agency has created two TV spots and four press executions promoting each of the styles of playing the game.

Socom features special forces in combat and can be played in a single-player mode or with up to 16 players at a time when played using Sony's new networked online gaming option. TBWA/London has adopted a creative strategy showing the Navy Seals being called in to everyday situations with humorous consequences. The strategy aims to give the game wider appeal in the market by emphasising how groups of friends can enjoy the team-play capability.

"This is a team game and we are promoting the fun of it. It isn't a dark game," Trevor Beattie, the chairman and creative director at TBWA/London, said. "We want to do what people have done with five-a-side football teams for years and get people to play with groups of friends."

The ad promoting the single-player mode opens with a man on a high street who finds his path blocked by a group of market researchers. He dives for cover and starts barking orders into his headset to co-ordinate a group of Navy Seals into incapacitating the researchers using objects such as raw fish. The action cuts to the man playing the game at home and completing his mission. The ad finishes with the market researchers bound up in a phone box and the Navy Seals and the hero leaving the scene on a road sweeper.

Online gaming is supported by a spot showing two groups of friends practising their strategies in their daily lives before battling online. It opens with a burger bar worker saying: "Let's roll." It then cuts to a gardener screaming a war-chant. Another shot shows a gardener with goggles on rising up from a pond in a parody of a scene from the war film Apocalypse Now.

TV activity will run across programming on satellite, ITV, Channel 4 and five.

The schedule includes programmes such as Bo Selecta, Six Feet Under, and male-oriented sporting events such as World Rally Championship.

Press will run in men's lifestyle magazines including FHM and GQ, special-interest titles such as Fast Car, Bizarre, T3 and Combat, and games titles including Edge and Internet Advisor. Media planning and buying is through Manning Gottlieb OMD.

The ads were created by John Allison and Chris Bovill. Direction was by Sam Cadman through Rogue.