PlayStation Characters Salute the Gamer

By Bob Marshall 

Video game ad of the year? No doubt about it.

Over the past couple of months, the PlayStation brand has taken a beating. In April, Sony’s global PlayStation Network was repeatedly assaulted by hackers, and the network had to tell over 77 million users that their personal information (including credit card data) might have been compromised and put at risk for fraud. As if this wasn’t horrifying enough for the PlayStation faithful, word leaked that Sony executives waited a full week to tell its users it was a victim of a security breach. The PlayStation network was down off and on for over a month due to a bevy of hacker attacks, and many PlayStation loyalists moved on to different consoles and gaming platforms. Can you blame them for losing trust?


For agency Deutsch LA, the great task of getting PlayStation users back after this global controversy must have seemed quite daunting. How does a company recapture those who they caused to feel fear, anger and confusion? Well, as the above spot shows, Deutsch employed a major element of its successful and acclaimed “Little Darth” Super Bowl spot: Nostalgia. Over 25 characters from major franchises like Metal Gear Solid, Twisted Metal, God of War, and Assassin’s Creed join together to honor the gamer, the person who has “told their story” for the 15+ years of PlayStation’s existence.

As Deutsch says in its announcement for the “Long Live Play” launch, the agency “needed to approach the owners of each of those game characters and franchises to ensure we were able to get the right actors, visual/sound effects, wardrobe and brand voice from each of them to make this effort truly authentic. The fans of these franchises won’t settle for ‘close enough’.” What Deutsch has created is a love letter to PlayStation’s fans, sparking their imaginations by presenting them with the opportunity to re-connect with the characters that they’ve created memories with for over a decade. Excellent work from Deutsch, and a great reminder of the unique gaming experience PlayStation offered that captured those 77 million users’ attention in the first place.