Brand Slam: Nintendo vs PlayStation

In this month's Brand Slam we pitch the experiential marketing strategies of gaming giants Nintendo and PlayStation against each other.

PlayStation vs Nintendo
PlayStation vs Nintendo

Nintendo 

Event structure

Nintendo has worked with agencies including BD Network and has partnered with the likes of Pokémon Go to create wearable devices. 

Social footprint

@NintendoUK has 280k followers on Twitter, Nintendo of America has 2.8m followers on Instagram, while on Facebook, Nintendo has 4.3m likes. 

Recent campaigns

In 2015, Nintendo held its Splatoon Mess Fest event at Los Angeles' Santa Monica pier to promote the launch of its video game, Splatoon. Central to the Splatoon Mess Fest was an ink-filled obstacle course inspired by the game, which is compatible with Nintendo’s Wii U console.

The event saw participants, which in the game are referred to as Inklings, transform themselves into squids in order to swim in bright purple or green ink. They then fought their way through their opponents' ink in an enemy ink-run, and went on to test their shooting skills at Inkling target practice. 

Its Super Mario Bros game celebrated its 30th anniversary, also in 2015, by auctioning off a series of themed dungarees by designers including Henry Holland.

Latest campaign

Last month, Nintendo previewed its new video gaming system, Nintendo Switch, across the US through a series of interactive pop-ups. The tour took place in 'unexpected places', aiming to demonstrate how the Nintendo Switch system is all about being able to play the home console just about anywhere.   

The first Nintendo 'Switch and Play in Unexpected Places' took place in the desert at Blue Cloud Movie Ranch on 23 February, where guests had the chance to enter an interactive space and experience different Nintendo Switch games, as well as experience the novelty of playing these games in a completely unexpected locale.

PlayStation 

Event structure 

Playstation has worked with agencies including Amplify and Curb and has also worked with Circle Agency on the PlayStation Schools Cup, a partnership between the brand and the English Schools' Football Association. 

Social footprint 

On Twitter, @PlayStationUK has 460k followers, while on Instagram the brand has 7.2m followers and there are 1.3m likes on its UK Facebook page.

Recent campaigns 

Last October, Sony installed a giant version of its virtual reality (VR) headset at London's King's Cross station. The installation marked the launch of the brand's Playstation VR, which was unveiled in the UK yesterday that same month. Spanning approximately the length of a double-decker bus, it incorporated two Playstation VR gaming stations inside the visor. The installation aimed to give commuters at one of London's busiest stations the opportunity to take a break and enjoy an interactive gaming experience.

The brand also embarked on a six-date tour of the UK to celebrate the launch of the VR headset. The Sony Playstation 'Future of Play' Tour was an immersive experience, giving gamers the opportunity to get familiar with Playstation's latest venture into virtual reality. The tour kicked off on 22 September at gaming event EXG in Birmingham, and visited a total of six locations throughout its run.

Latest campaign 

At this year's SXSW Music Festival, Sony brand offered a virtual reality (VR) music video experience of The Chainsmokers new single 'Paris', which debuted there for the first time. This was part of Sony's new 'Lost in Music' brand campaign, created exclusively for PlayStation VR, the virtual reality system for PlayStation 4. 'Lost in Music' aims to deliver new music experiences to fans by using Sony's suite of latest technologies. The experience took place on 15-16 March.

Verdict 

Event says: 

Nintendo's recent US tour of unexpected places was ambitious and inventive but PlayStation wins this gaming battle with its breadth of activations, which span not only gaming, but also sport and music.

More: Previous Brand Slams include Land Rover vs. Citroën and Disney vs Warner Bros.

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