Browse all

From Nutella to PlayStation, everyone has discovered the hype culture

Why the launch of the new Sony console resembles that of a sneaker

From Nutella to PlayStation, everyone has discovered the hype culture Why the launch of the new Sony console resembles that of a sneaker

Exactly one year ago, Italy went crazy looking for Nutella Biscuits, showing us once again how desires and needs are easily manipulated with a simple marketing strategy. At the time we talked about scarcity marketing referring to the low stock expected by Ferrero which had led to the supermarket shelves of half the country emptying, exponentially increasing the desire to get hold of a package of biscuits and giving birth as a "natural consequence" "a timid attempt to resell.

In retrospect, the whole story could definitely fall within the now immense cauldron called hype culture, that tendency or ability to create expectation for a product that we will most likely not be able to obtain directly. A first experiment therefore of what happened in the last few weeks, when Sony finally released the PlayStation 5 giving life to a real reverse mass phenomenon, turning into a trend not so much having won the console as the opposite. The one for the PlayStation 5 was a spasmodic wait accompanied by a launch in which leaks, blurry photos and previews brought to mind the drop of any sneaker that had arrived on the market in recent years, making us immediately understand how Sony had wanted to fish for full hands of hype culture transforming the release of its next console into a social event. What seem like a series of coincidences are actually part of the so-called hype cycle, that natural mechanism born in the fashion world and capable of making any object your new obsession in a few simple steps. The daily bread of those who anxiously followed the Supreme drops or the Nike and Yeezy releases, but who in recent years have seen a progressive contamination of other sectors, not least that of videogames, increasingly aware of the power of a marketing mechanism at the limits of brain washing. The maximum expression of this marriage was Sony itself and the choice to collaborate with Travis Scott, one who knows something about hype culture, to give a further boost to the launch of the PlayStation 5 with a social campaign that also involved Michael B Jordan.

Obviously, in such a framework, the seeding of footballers, VIPs and influencers could not miss, ready to share photos and videos on social networks in the company of their PlayStation while online pre-orders (the only purchase method designed by Sony) were transformed into a real one. battlefield. A situation made even more complicated by a global pandemic which, as explained by the CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, made pre-production more complex thus lowering the final availability of the product. A mechanism well known to those who frequent the sneaker world, so much so that already six months ago in the meanders of Reddit users were organized to pre-order and resell the console, anticipating today's scenario by some time. A few days have passed since the launch of the PlayStation 5 and after Sony's announcement that it was officially sold-out, the console appeared where we used to find sneakers. From Depop to StockX, everything is incredibly reminiscent of something familiar, like the story of the man who spent 13 hours in front of eight screens to be able to copy a console for his eight-year-old son.

Although the gaming industry has never been a particularly tender place, external factors such as the pandemic and the need to stay home longer than usual have caused buyers' sales and desires to surge. So while Nintendo has capitalized on seeing the sales of its Switch soar thanks to Animal Crossing: New Horizon (among the candidates for the title of Game of the Year), Sony and Microsoft have played it on the field in the next gen bringing the mechanism to their side. of the hype. If on the one hand, however, a sneaker represents something unrepeatable or that will hardly be available again, on the other a console like the Sony one will necessarily have to return to stock in the coming months at its list price, thus making it even more evident what the operation put in place. feet from Sony has once again highlighted the malleability of our priorities.