Quite honestly, we never thought a time would come where we would have anything but positive things to say related to the PlayStation 4 “Perfect Day” commercial. We showered it with overwhelming praise upon first release and it became even more meaningful in light of Lou Reed’s (the original artist of the featured song) passing. But in the three month’s since its inception, it’s become tired.
All one needs to do is look at the date from our original article covering the trailer: October 15. Yes, it’s been over three months since the advertisement first debuted, and yes, Sony is still paying for it to be shown. During the AFC and NFC championship games on Sunday night, the commercial was (by our count) aired a total of four times.
It’s not unheard of for commercials to have a long life-span. Sometimes television ads are such big hits that the company wants to milk them as long as possible to create as much synergy with the product as they can. For instance, Chevy’s Super Bowl Sonic car commercial featuring Fun.’s “We Are Young” was such a resounding success that its run was extended by at least a month.
It’s also not unheard of to revive a commercial. Volkswagen’s Passat commercial featuring two friends accidentally learning Spanish on a road trip — a spot that first debuted over two years ago — was re-released during today’s football games. This was also a hugely successful ad and its resurgence can likely be attributed to so much time passing that they thought people would either not remember it or they’d have fond memories and again find it funny (or the car manufacturer simply couldn’t think of a better commercial to run in its place.) Running the same exact commercial for three months straight, however, seems a bit desperate.
By now, everybody in their targeted demographic has likely seen the ad numerous times. The ad was so successful in the first place because it captured the essence of why we love gaming so much and associated that with the PlayStation brand. It didn’t show graphics, specifications or even the console itself; it simply announced the arrival of Sony’s next-gen console and got you excited to join in on the fun. Running it for about two weeks after launch — or at most until the end of the year — would have been ideal. Logically, it should have then been followed up with a spot showcasing the console functionality itself. Without doing that, the average consumer is simply aware the PS4 exists, but has no idea what it does.
At the very least, the marketing approach could have been kept but with new material. Old Spice are brilliant at utilizing this strategy. With their series of Terry Crews ads, for instance, they continued to create new ones based on the same character and humor instead of reusing the first one for months. Recently, they’ve done it again by following up their bizarre ‘Mom Song’ ad with additional twenty-second spots of new footage. Perhaps Sony could have done something similar by having the two “Perfect Day” characters in different scenarios singing a different song, or used the song in a commercial showcasing the advanced graphics of the console. But instead, it’s almost February and we have the same commercial edited for time as the only television spot for the next-gen gaming console.
The “Perfect Day” advertisement was the centerpiece of a brilliant marketing campaign that appealed to practically everybody (besides perhaps the staunchest of console detractors). It will almost certainly go down as a success that vastly improved on Sony’s effort with the PS3, but it’s reached a point where we’ve grown sick of seeing it. It’s lost its luster, humor and magic that the first few viewings boasted. Sony’s proven over the past few years that they again have competent marketing, so it’s time to draw on that and launch a new campaign.