TBWA plays on heroes theme for PlayStation

Sony PlayStation is making a concerted bid to create flagship

gaming characters for its PS2 console with a new TV and press campaign

through TBWA/London.

Two 30-second ads, breaking at the weekend, launch the new console game

featuring two comic book-style heroes called Jak and Daxter. PlayStation

will hope that the duo can provide PS2 with a cult success and help

drive up sales of the console in the same way that Sonic the Hedgehog

established Sega and Super Mario Brothers built the Nintendo empire.

In line with this, the TBWA ads present the pair as a new generation of

legendary heroes whose time has now come. The impact of Jak and Daxter

is shown by the state to which older legends are reduced by their

arrival. The ads will run parallel with PS2 brand executions, which

broke during the summer.

The first spot shows Robin Hood working as a squeegee car cleaner in an

attempt to get by, having been abandoned by the general public in favour

of Jak and Daxter. A second shows Hercules slumped on a park bench

swigging booze out of a brown paper bag as he miserably recalls the days

before Jak and Daxter appeared, when he was the world's most famous

hero. Joan of Arc suffers a similar humiliation.

The ads are backed by press work, running across maintream lifestyle

magazines as well as gaming titles, which give further detail on the

plight of the heroes. Designed in comic book-style, one execution shows

Hood alone in his flat waiting for the phone to ring and Hercules lying

in a bed-sit surrounded by take-away cartons.

"Jak and Daxter are going to be massive," TBWA's deputy creative

director, Brian Campbell, said. "So much so that all of our old heroes

and legends will find themselves on the scrap heap."

The ads were written by Tara Ford and art directed by David Dao with the

TV spots directed by Nikolai Fuglsig through Outsider. Media planning

and buying is by Manning Gottlieb Media.

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