Selling the Slim in Japan

You should all by now be familiar with the TV ad that launches Sony’s renewed £6m PS3 campaign in the UK. Maybe you even found us by typing the suggested “start ps3” into Google’s UK search page and clicking the third link (at the time of writing):

TSA in the top three!


Though typically even as I write this piece nofi is busy posting how Sony have changed their advertising campaign to get rid of the troublesome search prompt, but I have written the first paragraph so it is staying.  That is what happens when you stop what you are doing to go and write about a Ghostbusters patch.

Anyway back to the topic at hand.  Obviously it is not just the UK and Europe that are seeing a renewed ad campaign for the PS3.  While we are suitably pleased that for once a UK PS3 advert clearly states the benefits of owning a PS3 back in the PS3’s homeland the ads take a much less obvious route to promotion.

The Japanese campaign is focused on people’s “play face” and consists mainly of showing the faces of people supposedly playing games on the PS3 and the tag line “It Will Make Your Heart Move More”.

As well as TV adverts the Play Face campaign is also appearing in magazines and on billboards like the one pictured below at Tokyo’s Shibuya station.

Play Face billboard

The faces that have appeared so far are all famous actors, DJs and musicians.  Well famous in Japan at least I suppose.  The Japanese public are not safe though.  Sony will be spending September and November touring Tokyo and Osaka with its “Playface Caravan”.

The Caravan is actually an event space equipped with eighteen cameras to record people’s faces as they try out PlayStation games.  The recorded video will then be posted on where a vote will then take place for the public’s favourite.  Anyone willing to bet that the Otaku do not end up voting for an attractive young Japanese woman?

There are some pretty serious prizes for those whose Play Faces’ garner the most votes.  First prize is ¥2.5m to spend on the PSN Store.  That is the equivalent of over £16,000 ($26,000) at today’s exchange rate!  The winner is unlikely to be complaining about the price of PSN downloads for some time to come.  The second place prize is another ¥1m and in total Sony are giving away ¥10m worth of PSN Store credit.