Sony Europe Immerses Technical Writers in PlayStation 3
When Sony Europe wanted to get the word out about PlayStation 3, which just launched in Europe, and its Blu-ray Disc, SLR cameras and Bravia TVs, it tuned in to the ultimate word-of-mouth guys—journalists, whose opinions and articles can make or break a company’s reputation. So, it invited 400 technical and lifestyle writers from 24 countries to the Greek island of Rhodes for a two-and-a-half day immersion into all things Sony that included 11 brand workshops, hands-on product demos and evening events that dialed up the entertainment level.
“It really did feel like the island of Sony,” says Ruth Speakman, p.r. manager at Sony Europe.
Each Sony product had its own workshop area, but the objective was to communicate a unified vision for Sony Europe and its goal to become the leading digital entertainment brand there. While there was a serious message, Sony revealed its fun side, too. Even the workshops had an entertainment element and were theatrical in how they delivered the message.
Sony’s alpha pyramid, a paean to its high-end digital photography equipment, was in full view, and visible from the air. The HandyCam zone showcased acrobats and a dancing Chinese dragon, which delegates captured with their cameras. The Vaio area was themed around Hollywood glamour. The Bravia zone was filled entirely with screens, which provided a direct and powerful sense of the strength of the product. The Blu-ray presentation enacted the history of digital sound over a 100-year period, beginning with a crackly voiceover in a dark, claustrophobic room that expanded until the doors swung open onto a seemingly limitless space, like the Blu-ray itself. A central HD Hub served as a welcoming area and a space to try out the products.
Evening events took the message to a whole new level. A Walkman Party took on a nightclub beat with music, video djs, djs and breakdancers that reinforced its urban theme. The next night, Blu-ray threw a street party, bathing a section of Rhodes’ Old Town with blue lights, dancing and circus performances.
“Our aim was to get the word out that Sony is back,” Speakman says. “Journalists talk to our consumers and our consumers trust them. When you know you have a strong story, they are the best ones to get the story out there.” Speakman feels the Media Experience was worth the investment. The coverage it garnered for Sony Europe would have been worth $11 million euros. Now that’s a lot of word of mouth.