Steven Sommers, director of corporate marketing at Sony Electronics, says the campaign tells a "knowledge transfer" story. "We want consumers to know that the minds behind Sony's $100,000 professional camera that films the Super Bowl are the same minds behind Sony's $500 to $1,000 camcorders you use to film your child's birthday party," he says. "The ad communicates that by showing one product morphing into another."
Similar to the way the integrated marketing campaign sweeps across multiple media, Sony's Blu-ray player might share similar technologies, or DNA, with Sony's cameras, camcorders and Vaios.
The 60-second commercial, "Tumble," is a mini-movie. It opens on a set in the mountains where one of the Sony CineAlta professional cameras shooting the scene takes an unexpected tumble down the mountain. As it bounces off rocks during its fall, the camera does not break, but rather shatters into numerous consumer products with each impact, highlighting the high-definition technology shared among Sony's line of electronics.
The spot begins airing Tuesday during prime-time TV shows. Spots will run on "Dancing with the Stars," "Law and Order: SVU," "Lost," "The Office," "Men in Trees," "20/20," "Monk," "Deal or No Deal," "Supernanny," "Psych," "Desperate Housewives," "Dateline," "E.R." and "Scrubs." Cable network viewers will see the ad on ESPN, A&E, Bravo, Discovery, History, FX, HD Net, HD Net Movies, Mojo and Universal HD.
Advertising agency 180 Los Angeles worked with Sony to develop the campaign. The two companies were inspired by consumers they call "familiographers," who strive to capture the perfect shot during special family moments but still want to enjoy the moment.
Sony Style stores across the country will act as the hub for the integrated marketing campaign, tying together the marketing message across multiple media. A Cyber-shot camera will automatically take photos of passersby. The photos appear in store windows. A Handycam camcorder demonstrating face-detection technology captures shoppers' faces on a huge screen. In some windows, the head of a manniquin becomes a digital photo frame.
The campaign sharpens the focus on the "HDNA" message that originally launched in September--HD is part of the DNA--and puts consumers in the spotlight, making them the stars. It also highlights new technologies like Smile-Shutter in the Cyber-shot DSC-W170 digital still camera that seems to know exactly when the subject smiles to capture the photo; face detection in the Handycam HDR-SR11 camcorder, which controls the focus; and Live-View in the Alpha DSLR-A350 camera that provides the shutterbug with an image through both the viewfinder and the liquid crystal display.
The campaign will tie in sony.com/tumble, scheduled to launch today--which features interactive content, teaser spots, clips from the making of videos, photos and more. Flash banner and rich media ads will appear on Yahoo, MSN, AOL and CNET, as well as on a variety of parenting and shopping sites beginning in May.
Through May, moviegoers will see Sony ads during film previews at Edwards, United Artists and Regal theaters. Print ads scheduled to hit newsstands next month feature three two-page spreads with photos to showcase products.
Print ads are set to appear in May issues of Parenting, Entertainment Weekly, Essence, Best Life, Parents, Nature's Best Magazine, American Photo, Outside, Popular Photography and Imaging, Videomaker, Martha Stewart, Baby Talk, Shutterbug, Parents and Child supplement, Cookie, Travel and Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Sports Illustrated, FamilyFun and Digital Photo Pro.
Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Richmond, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington residents will see campaigns on billboards, walls, bus shelters, and subway stations starting in May.
"The challenge is bringing whatever you do in print, online, radio and out-of-doors into the store to make it real for the consumers," says Allen Adamson, managing director of brand development consultancy Landor Associates, a New York-based marketing and advertising firm. "Involving consumers heightens the experience and lets them own it."