Whether Football or Playstation, Advertising Works The Game

Remember the PlayStation “Double life” commercial?

It was filled with characters, vivid faces, memorizing eyes. There were a million back stories to wonder about, odd locations, hints at dark and hidden lives. It was flippin marvellous.

It was created by TBWA/London, won a slew of awards and was credited as capturing the essence of gaming and the fantasy of gaming worlds. I’m not much of a gamer but I loved its magic, it confused and enticed me to find out more.

Last week I came across 2 gaming ads that caught my attention. I watched the one from Playstation with anticipation, then watched it again…twice. Not because it was fascinating, but because I was really underwhelmed and thought I’d missed something.

I sent the ad to Ross Dyer, the Creative Director who recently chaired a panel about Gaming Promotions at the PromaxUK conference. I asked what he made of it and he popped back this reply:

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to think. The basic idea is a good one – that we’re all competitive – but I think the execution lets it down. The frozen caveman just seemed badly done and I wasn’t sure if it was meant to be. Using “I vow to thee” as the soundtrack, presumably in an attempt at gravitas, didn’t work for me either, especially up against the caveman. Unless it was supposed to be ironic. Irritating. Oh, and what would you like me to do after watching this ad, Sony – buy a Playstation?”

So I wasn’t alone in thinking it missed the basics, capturing our interest, tickling our curiosity and giving us a call to action.

But all was redeemed by this Fifa Football ad. They know their audience and when straight for their hearts. Andrew Tomkins, EA’s Director of Advertising & Media said at the conference that they wanted their audience to “make FIFA as much a part of their football diet as anything else”.

Ross commented “The FIFA ad is targeted and focussed, quite obviously by people who love football. It gets to the core of an obsession and plugs into it. Spot on. I’m not a football fan, but it reached me.”  And me…

When you know your audience so well and can reflect the love they feel for their obsession this clearly, it has a ripple effect way beyond the intended target.

Have a look and see if you feel the pull. What is it about the Double Lives ad and this FIFA promo that grabs our emotions and gives them a shake.

Tell us what you think, do you agree with Ross? Drop a comment in the box below


  1. I agree with Ross, the caveman ad is badly done, it seems as if it was created by someone (agency? creative?) who lives or comes from a developing country and hasn’t really understood where this level of gaming advertising has reached. The ad seems as if it was made 5 years ago and for a low budget with rented images (mountain shot) to give it a feeling of “bigness” The commercial looks like it was filmed in Argentina ( i have shot there), so maybe that has something to do with it?

  2. Thanks Dan, this is great. Obviously a gamer’s game. Wonderful that the ended it with some good branding and a call to action. Thanks for sharing.

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