Marketing 50

PlayStation Portable

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Andrew House, exec VP in charge of marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America two years ago, knew that marketing for the PlayStation Portable, or PSP, would have to be innovative to cut into Nintendo's share.

High-quality video game play on a fairly large screen was a given, but the ability to play music, videos and movies, and view pictures added cachet, says Mr. House, who two years later is now chief marketing officer and group executive at Sony Corp.

"This is the age of digital devices. People are apt to consume entertainment and information on the go more than ever before," says Mr. House, 40.

To meet the demands of these "urban nomads," says Mr. House, who's been with Sony since 1980, Sony rolled out a portable device capable of handling games, movies, music and communication. The campaign anthem was "Take Me Out" by Sony BMG artist Franz Ferdinand, and the first million units shipped with a Universal Media Disc copy of the Sony Pictures movie "Spider-Man 2"-a first-ever cooperation for Sony, Mr. House says. Media included standard TV, print and Web advertising, but also employed unique elements including a fashion show debut party with designers displaying PSP accessories, and a giant, working PSP on a huge bulletin board in New York. TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles, created the ad campaign.

"PSP's marketing served to convince these consumers that for the first time they are completely in control of their entertainment offerings," Mr. House says.

People seem to agree: Sony reported worldwide sales of more than 5 million PSPs, plus 11.2 million PSP games and 4.7 million UMD movies.

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