Sony Bravia television advert

Bring your brand to life with Creative Design PR

As a creative agency, you spend your days crafting compelling TV, press and digital campaigns that get outstanding results for your clients. But when was the last time you blew your own trumpet? You may have an impressive portfolio of work online, but it’s always exciting to see your projects featured on the pages of Campaign, Marketing Week or Creative Review too.

You don’t need to look any further than Sony Europe to see how to do it.

Sony Bravia

In the mid 2000s, Sony Europe produced two of the most iconic ads of the decade to promote their SONY LCD TV brand, Bravia. Bringing to life their tagline ‘colour like no other’, the TV ads Balls and Paint gained the brand global acclaim for their originality.

So how did they do it?

For the first ad, Sony created a hypnotic two-and-a-half-minute TV ad that followed 250,000 brightly coloured balls as they were unleashed on the largest hill in San Francisco. There was an explosion of colour as the balls rolled down the hill, bouncing off trees, cars and houses.

The stunt was captured on camera, and the result was striking, looking more like an art film than an advertisement.

Shareable content

Stunned witnesses didn’t just talk about it with their neighbours – they told the rest of the world too – sharing photos, comments, and videos online. It soon went viral, catching the attention of influential bloggers and industry publications as well as online media and the world’s press.

Sony knew that online PR was crucial to the campaign, and so fed the online buzz with a blog at Bravia-advert.com, where visitors were given access to high-definition images, exclusive behind-the-scenes video, and screensavers: content that could easily be shared by bloggers and forums alike. Drip-feeding exclusive, behind-the scenes content paid off handsomely. More than two million people visited the site, the TV ad had 1.8 million views, and there were an estimated seven million viewings on Google Video and YouTube.

The positive PR benefitted the creative brains behind the campaign, ad agency, Fallon, which received several industry awards and a ton of free publicity.

Paint the town red

With such fantastic results, it’s not surprising that Sony followed up with something even bigger and better for its next TV ad. Using 70,000 litres of paint, mortars, bottle bombs, and 1,700 detonators, they turned a drab Glasgow estate into a Technicolor wonder, as gallons of paint exploded in sequence on camera. Cranes, wires, fireworks and huge tanks of paint were used to create a seamless celebration of colour.

Sony stepped up the online PR activities for this campaign. They selected three bloggers, invited them to Glasgow for the shoot, and gave them behind-the-scenes access plus a Sony digital camera each to capture the moment as it happened.

Rather than waiting for passers-by and the bloggers to post their content online, Sony pre-empted them by putting a short ‘making of’ clip on Bravia-advert.com, along with some images that revealed the paint theme, but didn’t spoil the TV ad. Further content was drip-fed gradually on the site in the run-up to the TV broadcast, attracting plenty of press coverage and over a million hits.

With Paint, Sony was more proactive in using its site to contribute to blog debates. In a display of savvy PR, they responded to concerns by bloggers about the environmental repercussions associated with firing 70,000 litres of paint at a tower block. Sony posted information about the clean-up process and pointed out the fact the ‘paint’ was not only environmentally-friendly, it was actually drinkable!

Winning them extra PR points internally, Sony also created an online game exclusively for staff, to promote Paint and get them enthused about the campaign.

The power of PR

The success of both of these ads was down to their creativity, but also the PR surrounding them. PR is the lifeblood of any successful creative business. Never underestimate its power or reach because with the right strategy, it’ll help your business realise its full potential.

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