As a creative entertainment company, Sony celebrates creators who think differently, push boundaries, and ultimately inspire fans through their work. As part of that, we consistently look for unique stories that only Sony can tell, harnessing our unique pool of creative minds and IP across categories.
The talented teams at Sony Pictures Animation and PlayStation had a great experience in common: bringing the superhero character of Miles Morales to life, both in lauded, groundbreaking ways, in two different mediums - movie and video game.
We wanted to create a three-part series bringing these creators together for an exclusive conversation their creative journey, that would:
- Celebrate the passion and vision of our creators, who are pushing the boundaries of storytelling
- Tell a compelling story about an IP and topics that both Sony as a brand and our target audience under 30 really cares about
- Highlight the importance of Miles Morales as an authentic, diverse character, and how our creators challenged themselves to deliver a relatable and representative superhero
- Create a suite of assets to support our paid media strategy for the year, to hit VCR benchmarks and drive at least 1:1 budget to completed views ratio
- Enable an ambitious collaboration spanning many entities: Sony Corp, Sony Pictures, PlayStation, Insomniac Studios and Marvel.
- Tell a compelling story worthy of earned media coverage
Sony empowers its creators to tell diverse, important stories centered on impactful characters - and this campaign was one way to spotlight them.
It always comes down to developing great creative. This is a story that only Sony can tell, and we had to do it justice. That meant:
- Understanding our audience: rooting our choice of IP, discussion topics, etc. in what our target audience cares about. We knew that both the "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" movie and "Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales" PS5 game were incredibly well received for their immersive, technical prowess, and for how they brought a beloved, important and timely character to life.
- Collaboration at every step: we led a close partnership with Pictures, PlayStation, Insomniac and Marvel over 9+ months to align visions, develop the content POV including custom look & feel, secure the right talent, produce the shoot, etc.
- Sparking and tapping into our creators' passion: a pitch they found novel and exciting, backed by extensive research to bring out fresh chemistry between them in conversation.
- Perseverance, patience and marrying objectives: combining many different entities both internal and external, with different IP, goals and creative POVs, while shooting at the height of Covid and preserving the overarching Sony Masterbrand perspective on the content.
We reunited the best talent to speak to the creative journey creating Miles: Brian Horton (Creative Director) and James Ham (Senior Animator) at Insomniac, Peter Ramsey (Director), Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (Writers/Producers) from Pictures and Saladin Ahmed (Writer of the Miles comics) from Marvel.
We filmed the 6-way conversation in the height of Covid winter and each creator joined from their homes, through an innovative remote capture setup in partnership with Crew In A Box. It required extensive new custom infrastructure to meet the project's scale.
The creators excitedly discussed their approaches to developing an authentic, diverse character, as well as their personal, creative and technical challenges in creating these experiences, and how each team helped inspire the other along the way.
This was truly a meeting of creative minds from all these entities both in front of the camera, and behind the scenes.
We knew we would have a mix of longform and shortform content, but we didn't want to constrain the conversation or the creative.
We devised a comprehensive paid media strategy that helped inform the creative, to ensure we could deliver shortform assets needed for paid success, in addition to longform. This included planning a rollout across paid social (FB/IG), Youtube, Connected TV and Online Video formats, with sequential storytelling and testing baked in as well.
The collective expertise enabled us to plan and produce what turned out to be this 3-part longform series, totaling 25 minutes, which resides on Youtube, as well as over 11 cutdowns, spanning 15sec to 60sec, to deploy across all channels.
Developing inspiring, informative and resonant creative through the collective force of creatives spanning five entities and one of the biggest IP in the world, and setting it up for optimal success in organic, earned and paid channels so the fans can connect with it: that was the foundation of our strategy.
The campaign launched on 10/6 and became Sony Corp's biggest branded content rollout ever. The series premiered with an exclusive feature on IGN, who was excited about the content and interested in launching it, followed by a rollout of cutdowns across Sony, Pictures, PlayStation, Insomniac and Marvel social and digital channels (FB, TW, IG, YT).
On paid media, our 3-week flight beat all our benchmarks. It delivered 20M impressions, over 4M completed views, with engagement successfully optimized across platforms and sequential strategy, thanks to the wealth of creative assets tailored and produced.
The fan response across social posts and message boards was extremely positive, praising the quality and comprehensiveness of the content, and the love letter it represented from Sony and its creators the character of Miles.
Creatively, we couldn't be prouder of the finished content. The 3-part series highlights the unbridled passion of our creators while celebrating important topics of representation and authenticity in storytelling, gameplay and animation, through the unique and shared creative perspectives of these visionaries. It's an experience that was deeply meaningful to them, which shows in their work, and is only matched by the care our audience has for this character and this game and movie.
As a creative entertainment company, Sony celebrates creators who think differently, push boundaries, and ultimately inspire fans through their work. We are proud to be a platform for visionaries.
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