The Xbox One ad campaign launched today with a new advertisement featuring references to some of the most popular games in the launch window line-up. The ad kicks off with a Titan from everbody's favorite next-gen FPS Titanfall ,obviously a game Microsoft loves to brag about but one that won't be available for another four months. Forza, Dead Rising and the multimedia features of XBO all make an appearance. Take a look:
Xbox One Ad Campaign Launch Trailer
Pretty neat ad all around. It captures the spirit of why so many of us love video games: the escape. Boring jobs, boring school and boring chores are just obstacles in the way of gaming bliss. But, Xbox fanboy that I am, I couldn't shake the feeling that ad seemed strangely familiar.
PS4 Perfect Day Ad
Oh yeah. The new Xbox One ad campaign is almost EXACTLY like the current PS4 ad campaign. Real life re-enactments of video game scenes. Granted, the PS4 ads take the concept a bit farther but, come on, the Xbox One ad showing the two cars racing down the road seems like it was lifted directly from the PS4 ad. And the "Come On" concept is strikingly similar to the main PS4 campaign of "Greatness Awaits."
PS4 Greatness Awaits Ad
Of course, the big difference is that the Xbox One ad features the voice command features that are exciting to approximately .004% of gamers. If the ad wants to ring true then it needs to show the kind of people for whom using a controller to select something on screen or bending over to turn the system on is nightmarishly difficult. You show me a morbidly obese man who needs to be forklifted to a hospital using the "Xbox On" command and I'll understand why the feature might be cool. But showing healthy, ambulatory adults talking to a TV isn't really a big sell for me as a gamer. Neither is, you know, NOT HAVING ANY GAMEPLAY FOOTAGE IN THE ENTIRE THING!
PS4 and Xbox One are both guilty of putting out ads designed to appeal to people who won't be buying a console on launch day. Only the hardest of hardcore gamers are out there scrounging for launch systems. I understand this about building a brand, but for average consumers who feel (rightfully so) that there isn't much difference between the two consoles these ad campaigns do little to show why one system is better than the other.
The sad truth is that it'll take years for each system to fully realize the brand's identity. But they could at least try to start on different paths. Just compare these launch ads for the xbox 360 and the PS3:
Xbox 360 Launch Ad
Microsoft's message is pretty solid in this ad. The Xbox 360 will provide the kind of simple, innocent, memorable childhood fun found in water balloon fights. Everyone playing together (via xbox LIVE) was a cornerstone of the xbox 360s early message and one that, ultimately, helped it dominate sales for years. Let's see what Sony did with its launch ads:
PS3 Launch Ad
WTF WAS THAT?!? Not really sure what message Sony was going for with this ad. "Like creepy babies? Buy a PS3!" To everyone who thinks launch ads don't matter I give you these two to compare. Xbox made a fun, relatable ad that invokes a spirit of childish fun. PS3 went with creepy baby. Is it any surprise Xbox 360 dominated the early years?
Maybe that's why the current crop of next gen ads are so similar. Neither company wants to take a bold step away from the other for fear it could backfire. Hopefully this "play it safe" approach to advertising doesn't translate into game development. Fans wants these systems to be different, to offer unique experiences. Investors might not. Only time will tell who Microsoft and Sony want to listen to.
Well the PS4 ad was 2 gamers singing while playing games with eachother. The X1 ad was people in their everyday lives being invited to the X1's features and games. Plus it actually shows gameplay and the name of the system.
I don't think the commercials are that similar at all.
"The new Xbox One ad campaign is almost EXACTLY like the current PS4 ad campaign". If he's going to make that statement, he has to follow it up with something more substantive than: "both have racing". What a poor argument. And instead of explaining how they're similar, he lazily decides to link the commercials as if we're supposed to see what the writer is seeing - like it's obvious that the two commercials are identical copies. And he either ignored the fact that Microsoft's advertising agency had written this ad weeks (possibly months) before the Sony ad even came out or is oblivious to how these things work.
Also, not really sure what makes him an expert on advertising or business decisions to make the statement he did in the last paragraph.