PS3 Playface

In this campaign for the new PlayStation3, director Timothy Saccenti has captured Japanese gamers’ ‘playfaces’ as they try out the new console…

playfacesmall_0.jpg - PS3 Playface - 1681

Playface campaign for PS3, agency: Wieden + Kennedy Tokyo, director: Timothy Saccenti, production company: Partizan Darkroom, London, editor: Dayn Williams, Cut+Run

In this campaign for the new PlayStation3, director Timothy Saccenti has captured Japanese gamers’ ‘playfaces’ as they try out the new console…



Clips can be seen on the YouTube film above, but it’s worth checking out the to see them in a more stylish setting. Alongside these films, a digital caravan will be touring Japan from September, capturing even more playfaces.




Filming the faces of those engaged in a variety of activities is nothing new, of course. There was Frank Budgen’s Coco de Mer campaign for Saatchi & Saatchi in 2001

which, adland noticed, were very similar to this Trojan campaign from 2004

And Fallon did this for the BBC

We even have a vague recollection of seeing the idea used for computer games players before – anyone have a link?


  • Nice

  • Jim

    This is what yis are probably thinking of Thought of it straight away when I seen this.

  • Sam

    Phillip Toledano’s series of video game photographs of gamers:

    His reaction:

    “It pretty much looks like they happily ripped me off…”

  • Pablo Marques

    As stated by everyone, pretty common sense idea (hey people make weird faces when they play video games, have you noticed?), and thats probably why there are so many calls for “coincidence” in the above comments and on the article itself..

    I’m a gamer a PS3 owner and work on advertising (shh, don’t tell anyone). I hate the PS3 at the moment, I I love my xbox, microsoft gets the social landscape and social gaming concept so much better than sony does. And that’s the general feel on the gaming community. There are so many little things that could be done to change this image.

    — they could fix their online system, make it simpler, more direct, less cluttered.
    — they could ship the system with a headset. (come on, the first xbox knew this, its about time you’ve learned it sony)
    — they could foster online behavior more and encourage the developers (specially the ones they publish with their own publishing house) to invest time on multiplayer thinking rather than “amazing” and flashy single player experiences.

    sony needs to move on. its about the relationship between people now and not only about having that lonely experience. (copy the Xbox live if you need to, most of the ideas that are there aren’t original anyway. and MS could use some competition)

    Instead, they make ads.

    Ads that show players having that same old single player experience. This would have been a good ad for the atari system, when people were starting to understand how immersive and fun video games could be. But I do believe that if you are considering the purchase of a system like this one, with this price tag, you might have at least seen someone play a video game before and you’ve probably seen those reactions before.

    In the best case scenario, this tells me nothing unique about the PS3. It only helps to perpetuate the feeling that sony is still struggling to understand where they made a mistake.

    Well shot ad, good edit, really cool little film. Kudos to Timothy. Sony marketing, the planners and creative involved in this need to work harder and maybe understand the product a bit better. But in all fairness, I don’t believe advertising can fix the biggest sony problem now, so i can see the challenge.

    People don’t like your system and developers neither. At this stage, changing that is beyond marketing.

    P.s.: Just as a tip, I know you don’t get social media that well but disabling the ratings on youtube isn’t helping your case here. If you don’t want feedback and or interaction you might want to stick with the TV. Actually you’re doing a lot better with your TV’s than your video games. There’s something to be said here.

    P.s.: And don’t bank on bluray, the world is also moving on from this format of delivery. Ever heard of netflix on the xbox. Or maybe their partnership with sky tv here in the UK?

  • Aly

    Thanks for going on about the gaming industry that was very interesting and not at all boring and off point.

  • Liam

    Hmmm. Get your buzz face on.

  • Seems a very tired concept both in terms of originality and as a true reflection of where modern gaming is.

    Consider the positive impact the Nintendo Wii television adverts have had, where the focus is on community, typically in a healthy, light environment. Now switch to these staged “real” people, sitting alone in a darkened room. Playstation have attempted to stylistically appear edgy/tech and failed, in the process making themselves look out of touch.

    It speaks volumes that Playstation have struggled with the idea of gaming communities (both on and offline), whilst the other big players (Xbox 360, Wii) have fully embraced the concept, and leverage their advertising to champion it.

  • I’d second (well, third) Robbie Cooper’s Immersion project:

    He also did the same thing with adults watching porn:–videotape/3453

    (Weirdly, I published a blog post on those just about an hour before I saw this.)

  • These are all quite recent projects, but I remember over a decade ago Miles Murray Sorrell Fuel doing this better, much earlier, and artier, when I asked them to produce an exclusive video for the first onedotzero festival way back in 1997. You might be able to see it if you have a copy of the first onedottv series lying about.

  • number8

    Pablo. You sound like an Xbox fanboy!

    Some fair points but here’s my two cents …

    Sure sony havent been making as many headlines with the PS3 overall but the system has got a lot of scope for the next few years for gaming potential because of its power compared to xbox 360.

    Sony at least gave you a hdmi cable. Sony did that from the off. and Microsoft dont.
    Now before you start spraying profanities and effing your mouth off on xbox live with your headset you need an Effin cable.
    Right Pablo?

    A big Family Fortunes X for that cock up.

    HD film and other HD stuff will be available for download in november – bit late for sony there.

    Playing online with Sony is free. With Xbox live, you pay.

    PS3 is a top multi media hub and the remote link through the PSP for games/vidz/films rocks.

    “People dont like your system…” Errr… wrong. Which people you talking about?

    Once developers grasped the complex PS3 unit, they knew its potential. Forthcoming games will showcase that.

    Have you seen HOME on the ps3? Its great! No wait, forget that last bit. Its not.


    The Ads? Seen the idea before. An Ad showing people playing games in a darkened room takes me back to the days when gamers were treated like loner’s and weirdo’s.

    What do you mean we still are?

  • Marcus E.

    Number8, you are making a fool of yourself and turning this place into what it’s not.

    BTW, I wholesomely agree with both Glenn and Pablo and think that Sony needs to move on. The film in case is all looks and has no real insight.


  • The similarity is that they both are using the reaction to computer games, but the essense of the project is really just the reaction. It is a simple idea that if you’re really going to talk about influence aren’t they all based on this?

    and as for the xBox vs Playstation arguments… buy one or the other, or both if you want, but the Wii is better (oh no what have I done!!!)

  • number8

    Marcus, Responding to a comment made by another is what this comments section is about.

    I think mimeArtist has just stoked that fire even more with that last comment.
    God help us.

  • Frank Budgen’s “Double life” is still the best video game commercial of all time.

  • Ben Chandler

    How long will it be before someone launches

  • Daniel

    Fully agree with Pablo’s points here.

    I also see these short films as a very slick but clear portrait of Sony’s struggle and desperation while their market share sinks.

  • Cozza

    Ripped off, the advertising industry does this all the time, so what’s new?

    Most creatives spend there time on there backsides, scoping new and original stuff so they can puck it out in a homogenised form. They should be called regurgitaters.

  • alex

    edited real similar to chris cunninghams rubber johnny video for aphex twin?? shoddy concept plus slackers in th eediting suite……

    nice work

  • dirk norman

    chris cunninghams editor cut these spots

  • Ed Wright

    I really like the jittery editing and sound, but they reminded me of the XBox back-of-head adverts.

    Our UAV is online! Oorah.

  • Amy

    I think it’s really engaging, it shows the real emotions that gaming brings out in us. There’s nothing mroe engaging than realy emotion on someone’s face, and this is what they were going for surely?

  • Gio

    Sorry for italian, but here the link…