This summer, gaming console major Sony Playstation has made a few changes to its marketing approach in India. In 2012, the company had earmarked approximately Rs 25 crore as its annual marketing budget. While this figure could increase by 10 per cent in 2013 or remain flat, marketing plans are firmly in place, explained Atindriya Bose, country manager.
The PS3 console is out in the market with the mandate of replacing the old warhorse PS2. The company has realised it needs a fresh communication route even for its other products PSP and PS Vita. The idea going forward will be to communicate the multi-functionality of various consoles, enhancing their viability for Indian consumers.
The company is running one of its international television commercials in India, but has added a layer. The Indian adaptation shows different features of the PS3 through a super at the end. Playstation has also launched a commercial that revolves around the game Cricket that the company launched in India. The commercial opens with a father and son battling it out at the game, with the daughter and eventually the lady of the house joining in.
“When you talk about PS3, the price range starts at Rs 17,000, which may not be justifiable for a kid. Therefore in our new communication strategy, we are talking about the whole array of add-ons that PS3 offers,” added Bose.
PS3 has an inbuilt blu-ray player, 3D compatibility, and an in-built browsing system.
“Consumers are also realising that the laptop or desktop is not the only window for browsing and they can use the television screen for browsing. There are many homes with the traditional television sets. So how do you make them smart? Playstation has an in-built browsing system. It has applications like Youtube, optimised for search,” explained Bose.
The company’s other handheld game console PS Vita, priced at Rs 20,000, is admittedly struggling to find its space in the market. Since its launch around a year ago, it has sold 5,000 units and the company sees the need for a shift in approach. “Very few people know that PS Vita also includes all the top features of a tablet. It is optimised for Facebook, Youtube, e-mail, and has other features too, which is not known to people. All these features put together it becomes a very viable product.”
Gaming will remain at the core of Playstation products targeting traditional gamers, but other experiences will also be built in the future communication pieces. “And the attempt is to make every product a centre-piece of the living room,” said Bose.
On the BTL trail, the company has tied up with electronics retailers. An eight-week campaign in over 50 shops is on, where the brand maps consumers who have come in to buy smart television sets and tries to engage them in a game based on their navigational skills, called ‘Match in 60-seconds’.
Besides the PS Vita, Sony PlayStation consoles installed in India include 9,00,000 PS2s, 4,27,000 PS3s and 190,000 PSPs.