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Brand trust with a bullet for Sony

This past Thursday there was an interesting intersection happened between gaming, advertising and PR. If you have followed the launch of the Playstation 3 in any detail you will know that when they announced the console in 2005 they showed many game trailers for what would be possible on the new machine. The trailer that caused the biggest reaction was for a first person shooter called Killzone 2. After the initial announcement it was leaked that the trailer was done completely as a pre-rendered CGI movie and was not running on the PS3 hardware at all. Sony tried to position it as a ‘target visual of what would be possible’ but a huge uproar ensued and it took Sony 3 1/2 years to finally get the game to market. With the launch they knew it would come under instant scrutiny to see if the final product would match the first target visual movie. So with the recent release of the game also came a TV commercial called ‘Bullet” that followed the path of a single bullet in slow motion through a scene in the game. Again an uproar ensued about if the commercial was real or if it had been pre-rendered agin. So this past Thursday Sony released an application through the Playstation Network called “Behind the Bullet” that lets you run the commercial, move around it in 3D and hear commentary from multiple people who were involved in it’s creation thus proving that the visual were real and were really done using the PS3 hardware.

Having played the game I think the final product actually far exceeded the target rendering and is the best looking game I have ever played. Even with that end result, the whole journey of this game from concept to launch to promotion has been interesting because at every step consumers have demanded honesty from their relationship with Sony and the brand has had to go to great length to win that trust back.

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