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A chat with the team behind the 'For The Players Since 1995' PlayStation ad
by Mike Rose on 10/24/13 09:40:00 am   Editor Blog

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

If you're a PlayStation fan, or even if you aren't, chances are you've laid eyes on the rather fantastic "For the Players Since 1995" video that Sony published earlier this week.

The video gradually moves through each era of PlayStation, showing a group of friends enjoying each Sony console through the years -- but it's the sheer amount of work that went into the video that has people talking, as the room around the kids morphs to fit each generation.

Posters, products and various paraphernalia from each different time adorn the walls and floors of the London flat, and watching the video over and over again to spot the little things here and there has become a game in itself.

While I wouldn't normally be interested in talking to a company about an advert, for this I could make an exception -- and Sony's head of product marketing Mark Bowles was happy to give some insight into how the video came about.

"The original concept was to begin in 1995 and to move through each year, making subtle changes to wardrobe, wall decorations, props and introduce iconic PlayStation games in each year," he tells me.

"As we progressed we felt the film would work better with each scene as a continuous shot," he continues. "However, this made it more difficult to convey the subtle passage of time year by year.  It was decided therefore that each scene would represent the whole era of each home console, so scene one for example has memories and props from 1995 to 2001. The passage of time of the London skyline was a great way to highlight this and link each era."

One of the truly interesting points about the video is that it appears to work not just on PlayStation veterans, but on those who have never even touched a PlayStation console in their lives. I personally never owned a PS1 or PS2, yet I still found myself feeling nostalgic all the way through, thanks to the morphing surroundings.

"PlayStation has been an part of popular culture for 18 years, and people have had different entry points and relationships with our consoles," Bowles notes. "But there is something in this film for everyone to recognise and stir a memory, whether it's clothes, trainers, music or games."

I found myself arguing with people over Twitter about the core message of the video -- for me, it seems like the kids don't age, and it's meant to be showing that PlayStation is a key part of the household in all generations. Others told me that they believe it's trying to show that PlayStation players stick with the brand through each generation.

"We love the fact that it is being interpreted in several ways too," Bowles says. "Ultimately the film was inspired by the #PlayStationMemories hashtag that occurred around the PS4 announcement back in February 2013. There was an outpouring of memories from PlayStation fans on twitter, and this film is our interpretation of some of their comments as well as our own PlayStation Memories."

I have plenty of my own favorite moments from the video -- the fantastic soundtrack from Good Blood; The way in which the video itself switches from 4:3 to 16:9 as it moves generation; The way in which the consoles switch to the "slim" versions as the camera pans back -- so I asked Bowles for some insight into some of the finer details.

"Personally I love the sound effects, I think that really brings the film together," he says. "There is so much attention to detail in the film it's impossible to comment on it all."

"Exciting references are the old Dominos boxes, Coke cans, Lynx cans and Raleigh bikes," he adds. "Dominos printed out the old boxes especially for us when they heard about the film, Coke searched their archive and Raleigh gave us a bike for each era - the Raleigh Equinox in the PS4 scene isn't even on sale yet."


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