Sony Campaign Illustrates Technological Birth Process

Sony campaignSony Electronics put a little magical realism in its latest VAIO HDNA integrated marketing campaign launched this week in the U.S., evangelizing the company's innovation in technology.

The campaign speaks to consumers through print, television, cinema, online, in-store and out-of-home to convey that VAIO is "Born out of Sony HD technology."

Graham Douglas, writer at ad agency 180LA, along with creative director Phillip Cho spearheaded the campaign, fusing nature and electronics to symbolize the birth process. The campaign illustrates that Sony VAIO's HD PC/TV and HD Blu-ray disc notebooks are "born out of" other high-definition (HD) products.

The message needed to branch off Sony's broader HDNA theme--the idea that every Sony HD product shares the same genetic code, or DNA. Juxtaposing nature with electronics seemed a fresh way to solve the problem. The biggest challenge became making something so abstract seem believable and real, Douglas says. "We wanted it to seem like a situation that could happen in your living room when you step out," he says. "The visuals are delightfully odd."



"Vines" will begin running in cinemas today. Another TV ad, "Flytrap," began airing this week on late-night TV shows, and cable and HD networks.

In the 60-second "Vines" spot, a BRAVIA HDTV grows electronic vines, picks up a Blu-ray Disc player and brings it to the screen. The vine-covered screen and Blu-ray Disc player are engulfed until flowers bloom. The vines release to reveal the birth of a shiny Sony VAIO LT HD PC/TV, which combines HDTV technology and a computer. The system features a BRAVIA screen and Blu-ray Disc player. The announcer says: "The Sony VAIO LT PC and HD TV. Born out of Sony HD technology. High definition. It's in our DNA."

Working with visual effects house Motion Theory, which directed and post-produced the campaign, the content was created through live-action and computer graphics. Shot in various positions with Sony Genesis cameras during a four-day shoot, models and puppets were used to create live-action pieces that that tied in with computer graphics to create a touch of magical realism.

From the live-action rough cuts, the spots then underwent an intense post phase with 30 people working around the clock on illustration, heavy visual effects, design, animation and compositing to bring these spots to life. The spots aim to leave the viewer wondering what this would look like if it were real.

Sometimes metaphors can go horribly wrong because there's a disconnect between the consumer and symbolism, says Amy Shea, EVP at marketing research firm Brand Keys. "The great thing about metaphors is you can convey and explain a lot about a product or service," Shea adds. "The ads must stimulate interest, not confusion, and leave people intrigued. After you get their attention and make sure they can identify the brand, the ad must motivate an action. Not necessarily a purchase, but drive them to the Web for more information."

The TV spots are scheduled to run on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," and "Jimmy Kimmel Live." The ad will also appear on cable networks Adult Swim, Comedy Central, ESPN, TBS, VH1, Discovery HD, HD Net, HD Net Movies, MHD, MGM HD, Mojo, and Universal HD, as well as in movie theaters.

The print campaign showcases the VAIO HD notebook in Wired, Rolling Stone, US Weekly and Blender. Consumers will see one- and two-page spreads hitting newsstands August through October in issues of Best Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Details, Entertainment Weekly, ESPN Magazine, Laptop, Men's Health, Men's Vogue, Self and Sports Illustrated. Sony also will conduct a national search for VAIO PC owners who can show they have enough HDNA qualities to be dubbed "Techsperts" by creating online video essays integrating Sony HD technology. Authentic evangelists of the brand who personify VAIO style--superior Sony HD technology + multimedia experience--are encouraged to step up and show their HDNA. Consumers can enter via a dedicated site for the contest that goes live in August.

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