Sony has been promising a big push to promote its new line of Xperia smartphones — the first to come out since the company took full control over the Sony Ericsson JV — and today we get to see the first fruit of that effort, a stop-motion animated TV commercial directed by the great Wes Anderson.
Today, Sony Mobile has given TechCrunch the exclusive on this one — meaning you can only view the video here, for now.
The commercial marks a debut in more ways than one: Anderson has directed a few other advertisements, but this is the first time that he has made one using stop-motion techniques, something he used to such spectacular effect in Fantastic Mr. Fox.
The inspiration for this spot comes from a series of interviews Anderson conducted with kids, asking them about how they thought smartphones worked.
That is the springing-off point for a musing on robots and what they do inside the devices. It’s an indirect approach but an entertaining one, which Sony hopes will touch mass consumers in a way that is perhaps almost as important (if not more) than even the specs and other features of the device itself.
Sony has a tall task ahead of it: once considered something of a gold standard in consumer electronics, that reputation has been somewhat tarnished by competition from many new players, from Samsung to Apple, and that is true especially in mobile, where the Sony Ericsson line, once a leader, is now trailing far behind the likes of Samsung, Nokia and Apple — with that gap even bigger when you look at smartphones.
Key to Sony’s fightback will be convincing users that its brand is one for the future, and one that signifies more than just another handset: the whole Sony ecosystem of other products, and other services like gaming, films and music will need to play a part in that.
So far, the new line has impressed reviewers. And Steve Walker, the CMO for Sony Mobile, says that early sales of the devices in various markets have been “very positive.”
Walker calls this the first “episode” in Sony’s wider, new Sony Mobile campaign, which will include a big ad push across digital and more traditional platforms, as well as viral marketing campaigns and more.
And there will be more TV commercials, although he would not say if they will feature other directors, or whether Anderson will make a return appearance.