Sony taps brand history for smartphone launch
March 20, 2013 | Russ Martin | Comments
Sony is tapping into its brand history as a technology leader to amplify its re-entry into the smartphone market with the launch of its latest device, the Xperia ZL.
Launched Monday, the campaign focuses on Sony’s presence in technology driven categories by using the tagline, ‘Experience the best of Sony in a smartphone.” The campaign is now in soft launch and will amp up towards the end of the month ahead of Xperia ZL’s Canadian release, which is expected in early April.
“This campaign is rooted in the global insight that people know respect and trust Sony,” said Peter Farmer, Sony’s vice-president of marketing in North America. “The campaign, at its core, takes the equity that rests within Sony and transfers it into the smartphone category.”
Farmer acknowledged that Sony is entering a crowded market, with both Samsung and BlackBerry releasing new devices this spring. To succeed the advertising will need to convey to consumers that Sony is a smartphone brand in addition to being electronics company, he said. To do this, Sony is emphasizing how the phone relates to Sony’s technology in areas where the brand is a dominant player, such as home entertainment. The phone uses Bravia, a LCD technology from its TV group, to power its 5” screen, is PlayStation certified (meaning consumers can use it to browse, purchase and download Sony games) and uses Sony Music’s Walkman app.
By focusing on how the phone relates to its other products, Sony is hoping to remind consumers about Sony experiences they’ve had in the past, like playing games on a PlayStation growing up or buying their first Walkman, to create an emotional bond. “We want to make sure that people understand the good work that exists in other categories has been transferred seamlessly into smartphones,” Farmer said.
The campaign includes out-of-home advertisements in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto as well as a TV ad by McCann Worldwide, print, digital and retail. All the creative is currently in market.
Farmer said the creative was developed centrally and then adapted for the 20 markets the campaign is running in. He added this the largest media buy Sony has ever made to promote one of its smartphones, though he declined to provide a financial figure.
that Sony’s media buy for this campaign is its largest spend ever, both globally and in Canada, to advertise a smartphone, though he declined to provide a financial figure.
In Canada, the media buy was handled by PHD and PR by National PR.