Case Study: Sony’s HDTV Platform Launch with Immersive Experiential Marketing.

Launching a new TV technology platform to set a new standard was a risk. If the platform does not gain traction with partners and customers, and enough sales momentum, the technology investment may be wasted.

Sony came to SMG, an experiential marketing agency, to produce its launch of the HDTV platform for Sony Professional Equipment at the CES tradeshow. SMG identified the key issue of helping partners, customers and press, analysts understand the new HDTV platform: better resolution, pixel performance, lower power consumption, viewing angles and flatter displays. The challenge was to create an exhibit to position Sony’s digital broadcasting solutions as a complete set of integrated components that provides an end-to-end solution — from capture, editing, broadcast and transmission.

We designed an exhibit as a fully functioning television production studio experience. We used Sony featured digital products, to create a live, end-to-end digital television broadcast experience. We created a fictitious broadcast of a live children’s classical piano competition (a child prodigy pianist) to provide engaging content for the broadcast.

Five themed sets were created within the “broadcast studio” to engross the audience and tell the complete Sony story.

An entrance courtyard consisting of a huge, sculptural world globe and live presentation stage attracted visitors to the exhibit. This area was used to provide an introduction to the studio experience and to Sony’s top-line messaging.

In front of the globe, a raised, circular set showcased camera crews filming a live piano performance of one of the child prodigies in the competition. The editing studio, broadcasting studio and transmission bay sets, all functioning and fully-staffed, allowed visitors to watch the SONY broadcast technology solution in action — actually creating and broadcasting the piano competition being filmed on the front stage.

The perimeter of the exhibit featured specific components, presented in stylized windows. Sony sales reps were strategically placed throughout the 20,000 square foot studio sets and product windows to invite qualified attendees to a large, interactive learning center. Here attendees could have in-depth discussions and demos with engineers on specific equipment of interest.

Attendee exit surveys (over 98% rated it a 4 or 5 on a 1–5 scale) confirmed the power of the music competition scenario and live broadcast demonstration to communicate a complex technology message, simply and effectively. Sony far exceeded its show target sales bookings. The Sony Digital Broadcast Studio experience was an unqualified success — strategically and financially. Sony leveraged this thematic exhibit to drive its launch, globally.

Al Leong, is an award-winning marketing executive with 25 years experience with Fortune 500 brands, and former contributor to Techvibes. His site is found at http://www.alleong.ca

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