Sony has partnered with 12 personalities and organizations to promote the PlayStation 3 launch in the UK. The strategy, not unlike the 'All I Want for Xmas is a PSP' fiasco, is to encourage the promoters to distribute content "inspired by PS3" across their own digital social networks, including personal and company websites, blogs, and MySpace. The key difference between this new initiative and the botched PSP marketing effort is an apparent transparency. "We've been transparent throughout that at the end of the day this is about shifting units," claimed Rana Reeves, a director of Shine Communications, which helped to develop Sony's latest marketing strategy.
Shine has dubbed the process the "digital echo." Basically, it's craftier and cheaper for Sony to advertise under the guise of user-generated content than to invest solely in traditional means (television, radio, etc.). Participants agree because it gives these individuals and companies an opportunity to cross-promote their own products and brands. It works something like this: design and fashion magazine KCTV hosts a PS3-inspired fashion show at the Sony-owned '3 Rooms' venue in London's East End. Afterward, guest attendees (roughly 120 in all) each blog about or distribute content pertaining to the event. In addition, KCTV posts a highlight video across its digital network, which includes MySpace and YouTube. The result: Sony extends its 'PlayStation' brand to further reaches of the intertubes. Spooky.
Source: Media Guardian [registration required]