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One of the reasons for Sony's success with the PS4 might have more to do with marketing than simple troll-tactics. While last year the company used every single misstep by Microsoft as a marketing gimmick to promote the PlayStation 4. However, with Phil Spencer in charge of the Xbox brand following the departure of Don Mattrick, the Xbox brand has done a complete 180 (no pun intended). Microsoft is now back in the running and utilizing everything within their grasp to regain their footing. In light of this, Sony has actually ramped up their marketing throughout the early half of this year, and the company has actually spent the most in advertising their console compared to both Microsoft and Nintendo.
The Wall Street Journal revealed a spending chart for the three big manufacturers and the numbers just might shock you as far as spending and advertising goes.
There's a chart that explains exactly how much has been spent on TV ads in a PS4 versus Xbox One visual breakdown from iSpot.tv. Check it out below.
As you can see, Sony has spent $59 million in television advertising from the start of the year up until May. It wasn't as if Microsoft has been too far behind, as the company has rolled out $34.7 million in advertising leading up to May.
It's interesting that both companies targeted Comedy Central – presumably hitting up the elusive 14 – 34 male demographic?
Just looking over the chart it definitely appears as if Microsoft aimed for the higher quality channel, with AMC getting some love while Sony had ESPN on the list. I imagine TBS and TNT are about equal in terms of prominence.
What's more is that according to the Wall Street Journal article, more than $226.5 million has been spent on TV advertising within the first five months of 2014... so far.
Funnily enough, it wasn't just the standard TV ad that has been most effective for Sony. As mentioned in the article, the “Greatness” ad that first appeared as a digital promotional piece across websites and video sharing sites has really helped penetrate Sony's target market...
“PlayStation’s most digitally effective spot, according to iSpot, so far this year is the “Greatness” ad. That spot, which features scenes from some of the brand’s top games, aired 1,058 times on national TV since its March debut and has an estimated ad spend of $9 million, iSpot said. “Greatness” has received more than 2.5 million online views and more than 17,000 social actions, including tweets, likes and shares.”
Don't remember what the ad looks like? Well, here's a reminder.
The ad has supposedly generated 7.4 million digital actions (or reactions). That's pretty darn effective and is scarily close to the PlayStation 4's install base, which has been estimated at 8.1 million. I'm sure someone will do an article about the relation of digital engagement to the compulsion of making a purchase somewhere down the line.
The Xbox One's most effective ad has been the “all-in-one” piece, which has aired 1,300 times and has been viewed one million times online, with 6,000 digital social actions being accounted for. The “all-in-one” ad campaign had a budget of $12 million. The entire Xbox One ad campaign to date has generated 2.2 million digital actions.
Apparently spending more on specific, targeted ads doesn't always equate to more positive reactions from the community.