Sony Playstation merchandise launch

UK wide advertising and promotional campaign for Sony PlayStation.

Initial response saw 500,000 print run increased to 1.5m

The creation of the 'Playstation Widow' phenomenon


After the phenomenal success of Sony’s PlayStation, Sony realised there was a golden opportunity for brand extension and immediately set about producing a quality merchandise range to capitalise on their game console’s success. The range needed to capture the essence of the gaming culture reflecting the values, interests and aspirations of the rapidly expanding games market. The task was to ensure that the marketing campaign to support the merchandising launch did the same.


We introduced the concept of 'The PlayStation Widow', evoking both sympathy and humour in equal measure. Careful model selection ensured that the couples shown in the merchandising campaign reflected a more typical boy/girl next door so that more people could identify with the widow’s ‘pain’. Including the controller icons also reinforced the PlayStation brand on the subconscious mind.


Sony originally planned to print 500,000 copies of the merchandise brochures but with a fantastic response from retailers this was quickly trebled to a 1.5 million print run. The PlayStation Widow became a mini-phenomenon, with ‘widow’ merchandise a clear bestseller and retailers quickly sold out of this and other stock in the range. The campaign caught the public imagination and inspired numerous press articles to debate the idea.

Widow' merchandise became immediate sell out

…In my opinion, the ideas and work produced by these guys is easily on a par with anything created by our above-the-line agency…

Head of Marketing, Playstation