TBWA uses humorous tone in its new Sony PlayStation campaign

TBWA\London has crafted a new creative direction for Sony PlayStation that will for the first time introduce a light-hearted, humorous tone to its advertising.

In a bid to broaden the appeal of the brand, TBWA has developed a series of four TV ads that will form the backbone of future brand communication and debut the new strapline: "Fun, anyone?"

The new positioning will replace the groundbreaking "The Third Place" creative, which has run since the UK launch of Sony PlayStation2.

Written by TBWA\London's chairman and creative director, Trevor Beattie, and directed by David Lynch, the dark, edgy creative of the ads has become synonymous with the gaming market.

"The business challenge for Sony PlayStation is to take the brand and gaming sector to another level," Jonathan Mildenhall, the joint managing director at TBWA, said. "To appeal to a male market the ads have been edgy, exclusive, set in a different world that is dark and sometimes unsettling. We want to broaden the brand proposition to a wider market by making the tone lighter but keeping the brand's cool image."

The four 30-second ads all feature line-drawn characters that make fun of and dispel the reasons people give for not being interested in gaming.

"Dancing robot" features a robot and a small talking bird who shouts: "I don't know how it works but it's good, isn't it?" - the aim being to demonstrate how easy the console is to use.

In "laughing mouth" four characters take turns sharing a laughing mouth and having a good time, thus demonstrating shared fun. "Winners and losers" demonstrates competition and shows a winner who gloats too much. The fourth spot, "wobble", features an excited fat man attracted to a mark on the ground to show how entertaining gaming is.

The ads were written by Alasdair Graham and art directed by Frazer Jelleyman. The spots were directed and animated by Erica Ackerlund and Russell Brooke through Passion Pictures. Media planning and buying is handled by Manning Gottlieb OMD.