Sony Taps into Soccer Fever to Create Buzz for Camera
Some people see romance in the moon and stars of the night sky. Sony had a different vision: Twilight Football (or soccer, to us Americans), a series of seven matches that took place on Sept. 22, 2009 during the hour of twilight as it moved across the world in stunning locations that included Iguacu Falls, Argentina; the Pinnacle Desert, Australia; the site of King Arthur’s castle in England; a Spanish bull ring; a pitch in the snow in Switzerland; a floating pitch in Venice; and the grand finale at Soccer City, Johannesburg, the venue for the finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
But the real romance took place in the stands, where fans witnessed the beauty of the game outside of the floodlights and photographers shot the scene using Sony’s new range of cameras that capture exceptional detail in low light conditions.
The challenge was to use soccer to build a digital imaging experience that had never been attempted, an experience that would promote a visually stunning and creative approach to photography for three target audiences: innovation enthusiasts, who would be interested in the innovative way of celebrating a new technology; status seekers, those who would see the idea as “cool,” making the products and technology feel “must-have”; and experience embracers who crave a one-off experience. To support local press and manage VIPs that attended each event, an on-site “Camp Twilight” provided refreshments and served as a media center for live reporting at each game. A total of 700 guests came for a three-day hospitality experience that included the game and cultural tours.
The campaign was divided into three phases: recruitment, experience and celebration. Recruitment took place a few months prior to the main events to find the best players and amateur photographers via local partnerships and social media platforms such as goal.com and Twitter. A team of bloggers called Twilight Hunters served as ambassadors for their country’s team and ignited online chatter. A viral video of daredevil players breaking into a bull ring and kicking the ball around a bull also helped raise the campaign profile. During the events, content and conversations on YouTube and other social media sites and a downloadable Sony Twilight widget kept consumers up to date. Images from each location were incorporated into advertising during the celebration phase.
Twilight Football delivered some of the most incredible soccer moments played in the most unexpected and beautiful low-light locations. And that is in addition to the marketing results: the viral and the widget, 1.4 million views.