Monday, February 13, 2012

All those Vita advertisements

With the February 22 launch of Sony’s brand new handheld, the PlayStation Vita, you’d think there would be more advertisements for it. With less than two weeks, I’ve yet to see a single TV, radio, magazine, or internet ad for it. In fact, the only advertisement I have seen is the Taco Bell promotion that gives away a free PlayStation Vita every 15 minutes (they aren’t).

In an interview with the New York Times, John Koller, senior director for Sony’s handheld consoles, said the company is spending $50 million on commercials, billboard, retail details, online banners, and social media including a Twitter campaign themed, “Never Stop Playing,” with the hashtag #gamechanger. Koller says the campaign is focused on brining “the largest platform launch in terms of marketing investment we’ve ever hand.

That would sound great, if their demographic wasn’t so niche. According to Koller, the target audience for the Vita is men in their 20s who play video games eight hours a week for more and own a PlayStation 3 console. The challenge that lies ahead for Sony is to overlap that market with those who already own other mobile or handheld devices, such as the iPhone or Nintendo 3DS, and pull them towards the PlayStation brand.

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