Sony Pitches Xperia ion Smartphone With Spider-Man Commercial [VIDEO]


Sony Mobile’s first 4G LTE smartphone, the Xperia ion (now available exclusively in the U.S. from AT&T), is tying into Sony’s movie release of The Amazing Spider-Man on July 3rd in Sony’s first-ever national TV spot for the new device. (The Experia was promoted in a campaign directed by Wes Anderson that kicked off in Europe.)

The new :60 U.S. spot, titled “One Block,” takes viewers on an entertaining, imaginative journey following an Xperia ion-engrossed user walking to his apartment, as the experiences on his phone come to life around him. It’s also a bit of a game for brand-spotters, as it comes with a pitch: “To show what it’s like when everything’s in HD, we hid different movies, TV shows, songs, bands and games from the Sony universe on a city street. See if you can guess all of them.”[more]

The most obvious Sony brandcameo is that Spidey stops a thief (and re-appears at the end); musical tie-ins include Sony/RED recording artists Matt & Kim, whose tune can be heard and whose outdoor concert the spot’s oblivious Xperia-obsessed owner passes by.

“The Sony brand has long been synonymous with entertainment and innovation, and this campaign shows how the Xperia ion continues this tradition by providing consumers with a truly connected entertainment experience that only Sony can offer,” Peter Farmer, VP of Marketing for North America at Sony Mobile Communications, stated in a press release.

The TV commercial (watch it below) is part of a fully integrated campaign which also includes digital, out-of-home, social media and print components. The campaign emphasizes Sony’s connected entertainment and the unique HD everywhere experience that is brought to life by the Xperia ion.

To connect the TV spot to an online guessing game, digital agency LBi conceived of and created microsite Xperia World to demonstrate the Xperia ion’s promise of immersive entertainment. LBi shot the same scene captured for the TV commercial from multiple angles and repurposed it for the microsite as a massive high-definition photo, creating a virtual city street with Sony entertainment properties including movies, TV shows, bands, songs and games.

Viewers are encouraged to share their guesses through social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest as part of a virtual treasure hunt to find all the different Sony entertainment properties contained in the single block.

The New York Times notes other elements in the integrated campaign:

  • In one partnership, with the magazine US Weekly, the musician Gavin DeGraw will use an Xperia Ion to keep a video diary that readers will be able to view by scanning QR codes in the publication.
  • Sponsorships include the ESPN All-Access event in Chicago in September, where athletes will use the Xperia Ion to send messages from a social media center. At the Los Angeles premiere for “The Amazing Spider-Man,” hosts from the entertainment Web site PopSugar will use the device to take photos and send Twitter messages from the red carpet.
  • The digital ad buy includes 40 home-page “takeovers” — instances in which only Sony’s advertising will appear on a page — on websites like Mashable, Esquire, TMZ, ESPN, Pandora and
  • Theater ads include a crowdsourced digital game called Brickbreaker that viewers will see before the 30-second “One Block” spot is shown.
  • Sony focused its out-of-home advertising in New York and Atlanta. It includes bus shelters, traditional and digital billboards, interactive kiosks, taxi tops and the Sony digital billboard in Times Square.
  • Print ads feature the product against bold-colored backgrounds and use words ending in “ion,” like “connection” and “high-definition,” a play on the “Ion” in the product name. Ads will run in publications like Rolling Stone, Maxim and Wired.

The Xperia ion national advertising campaign was developed by McCann Worldgroup and is an extension of Sony’s global ‘Made of Imagination’ campaign platform. It kicks off with a television spot, directed by Emmy-nominated music video director Paul Hunter. Phase one of the campaign, which will be deployed across television, print, digital, out-of-home and retail will roll out over the next couple months.

“To launch the Made of Imagination platform for Sony Mobile in the US, we wanted to show how the Xperia ion can unlock amazing entertainment experiences that totally immerses users,” said Mat Bisher, Creative Director at McCann New York. “We wanted to bring it to life in a way that felt exciting and imaginative.”

Do they succeed? Watch the :60 spot (click here to view the :30 commercial) and post a comment below: