PS3 – This Is Living campaign (and why I like it)


This was one of my favourite campaigns for a couple of reasons.  One – it’s a huge product.  The PS3.  They really don’t come much bigger or higher profile.  We were a roster digital agency for PlayStation for about five years and worked on plenty of products, but owning online for the PS3 was a real honor.  Two – although we were working along side TBWA who were responsible for all the above the line, we were in on the ground floor (quite unusual for digital back then which was often an afterthought) and were really able to help shape the campaign.

And the campaign was a marked departure from the approach that PlayStation had taken until that point which was uncompromisingly weird.  The usual above the line adverts were very much: ‘A guy dressed in a PVC gimp suit, drinking from a high heeled boot, tossing a leather clad grenade into a baby’s pram whilst listening to the Velvet Underground’ kind of territory. But research was showing that it was confusing the audience who were plumping for an Xbox on the basis that they understood the proposition more clearly.  The PS3 blew the Xbox out of the water technically and so the new direction was about focussing on the features and benefits of the console over it’s rival.

Our role in that was to help our role translate the impressive spec into something that consumers could relate to emotionally.  Of course there was still plenty of weird in the above the line.  But for the online, where consumers wanted cold hard facts before making an actual purchase, we saw our job as helping combine the two.

Realising that the site needed to appeal to geeks and impulse buyers alike – we created an interactive experience that spoke to both Logical and Emotional sides of buyer’s brains.  A good example is how we used this digital engagement to help the consumer understand how powerful the PS3’s unique cell processor was.

The logical argument gave people hard cold facts like ‘The PS3 has 2 teraflops of raw processing power”.

The emotional element was conveyed by an engaging interactive experience that encouraged the visitor to attempt to land 2 virtual NASA lunar modules at the same time.  It was really tough.   After completing the task (or indeed failing) the user was hit with the mind blowing fact that “The PS3 contains the processing power to land 16 million of the original lunar modules simultaneously”.  We did the maths ourselves and when we saw the astonished faces of the PlayStation marketing team, after telling them what we’d discovered, we knew we had something juicy to put in front of their audience.

Playstation witnessed a huge uptake in sales after the This Is Living PS3 relaunch. We’d like to think that our part in helping consumers clearly understand the benefits of this awesome machine had a part to play in that.


Although it was still the PS3 so we were allowed a little weirdness and if I remember right we asked our ‘studio mate’ Phil Hartnol (Orbital) to do the audio..