Sony’s “Michael” Video More Popular Than iPhone 4S

21 Oct

Sony’s Long Live Play marketing campaign and the viral short “Michael” by agency Deutsch tells a story about what would happen if some of their biggest fictional characters all came together for a drink, earning them top honors in this week’s Viral Video Chart on Adage. It edged out the iPhone 4S viral video by three million views.

The video starts out with what looks like a World War Two soldier dropping down from a parachute.  He reconvenes with another one of his troopers before pushing onwards.  The soldiers come upon a castle and enter to find a woman at a check in booth.  They pay a small fee then place their rifles among a bevy of other interesting weaponry.  We go through a wooden door with them into what looks like a bar and a big surprise.  To anyone that has played Playstation games you will immediately recognize that this particular bar is littered with famous characters from the console.  Each character describes some of the trials they’ve been through culminating in a celebration of the one hero they all warship, Michael, an everyman made to represent you the player.

Story telling in advertising is a difficult proposition when you sit down and think about it.  It’s the most effective way to engage your audience during an advertising campaign, but often the most difficult.  In fact, nearly the entire purpose of social media is to invite total strangers to share their own experiences and thoughts, effectively creating one large novel full of short stories.

For more traditional advertising telling a story is a monumental task.  Your first, and largest, obstacle is time.  Even if it’s a viral video the average person would tune out after a few minutes if they weren’t already captivated.  That means you have mere precious little seconds to get your audiences’ attention, hold it, and make them feel something.

Drake from "Drake's Uncharted" and Lightning from "Final Fantasy 13"

As a pretty casual video game player in relative terms this commercial got me extremely excited.  Anytime I get to see my favorite animated sprites come to life outside of their realms, the little geek inside of me bounces around like a Mexican jumping bean on a sugar rush.

The kind fellows at IGN even did a breakdown where they went through the video frame by frame to pull out all of the video game references.  Oh boy, are there plenty of them to go through.  I highly encourage you to check that out if it’s your thing.  Sony and Deutsch do a great job telling an intriguing story that connects to their audience on an emotional level.  I don’t know about the next guy, but it makes me want to pick up the sticks right now!

One thing that had the gamer community kind of irked was that they teased a trailer for this video a week or so before it was launched.  This had people guessing weather or not it was revealing new content or just an advertisement.  Of course it was the latter.

Sony clearly put a lot of effort into this video.  Is it something that resonates with consumers?  Or does the salesmanship at the end ruin the experience?

-Josh P Greenberg
Follow: @JoshPGreenberg
Follow: @Rated_JPG

Like the Rated JPG fan page on Facebook!

Related Articles:
Sony Playstation Edges Apple iPhone 4S in Viral Video Shootout

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