Launching Thursday, PlayStation’s “Opera” campaign describes the experience of playing video games on PS4 Pro through the use of opera, lending itself to a TV spot as well as other activations.
Since 4K graphics have to be seen first-hand to understand the difference—and not everyone who sees the ad will have a 4K TV—PlayStation decided to have some fun describing the experience instead.
The spot opens on a man playing video games on his PS4 Pro. As his face reflects the wonder in what he’s experiencing, we hear opera singer Adelmo Guidarelli‘s bass-baritone voice describe it to the tune of “Largo al factotum,” more commonly known as “Figaro.”
“PS4 Pro, dynamic 4K,” Guidarelli sings over footage of God of War, Far Cry 5, Monster Hunter: World, and MLB The Show 18. “So beautiful, can’t look away.” As the song reaches its crescendo, the gamer is surprised to realize that the opera singer is singing in the player’s living room.
“We thought that the contrast between opera singing, which is typically quite serious, and gaming, which is creative and fun, made for a hilarious moment where the gamer and the singer meet in a normal living room,” Mary Yee, VP of marketing for PlayStation told AListDaily. “We also liked the contrast of the big theatrical vibe of the opera singing and the everyday hero who is our gamer [and] we thought the irreverent script was a fun way to tell an otherwise rather technical story about PS4 Pro screen resolution.”
“Opera” is considered part of PlayStation’s ongoing “Greatness Awaits” campaign—highlighting the emotions associated with gaming rather than focusing on gameplay alone. Yee says PlayStation’s marketing strategy is rooted in that emotional connection, as it taps into how passionate gamers can be.
“We try to tell compelling and relatable human stories in all that we do,” said Yee. “As marketers, we strive to make content and stories in service of our audience and fans.”
Though PlayStation’s marketing team thought the “Opera” campaign would be fun, the entertainment brand doesn’t choose its campaign strategies lightly.
“We are constantly testing and measuring our marketing campaigns,” Yee said. “We use gamer feedback as a key input. That said, we also hold ourselves accountable to our brand belief and core tenets of the PlayStation brand.”
Yee describes that brand belief as “Great play can inspire us to be our most creative, ambitious and extraordinary selves.”
PlayStation often employs visuals to simulate emotional experiences while playing video games. The brand’s recent PSVR campaign called “Feel Them All,” for example, employs imagery like a beating heart, goosebumps and a dilating iris to illustrate “feeling” a video game rather than just playing it.