The company describes Xperia Access as consumers’ “access all areas pass” to Sony Music’s up and coming artists, such as Tom Odell (pictured below).
Content will be hosted on Sony Mobile UK’s Facebook platform, Vevo, on the Xperia Lounge app, through a partnership with The Guardian and will also include branded gigs and competitions over the busy summer festival period.
Xperia Access will be open to both customers and non-customers, drawing similarities to rival Apple’s annual iTunes Festival, although Sony smartphone owners are likely to be offered additional exclusive content to boost their loyalty to the brand. Video content will also feature pre-roll ads featuring Xperia smartphones to make viewers aware of its entertainment offering such as its Music Unlimited service.
The campaign will launch with a live Rita Ora set for competition winners at Sony Music’s West London HQ on 18 June. Sony’s agencies for the campaign are Citizen and Hello Charlie.
Catherine Cherry, Sony Mobile marketing director for North West Europe, says it is hoped by focusing on Sony’s brand ethos rather than product specifications, the company will boost spontaneous brand awareness and preference metrics with this campaign.
She adds: “This is not a sponsorship or endorsement deal, or finding someone to hold a phone and say ‘look at this Sony smartphone’. We are looking at consumers first and how they want to experience and discover new music.”
“When people go to buy a smartphone they don’t even think about Sony as smartphone brand so we are investing in places to pull people into the brand. If you just say ‘here’s a phone’ that won’t always work. If we show what we are like as a brand and reflect that we are different to others out there, then there’s an opportunity to talk about Sony [ as a company before we talk about product].”
Sony Mobile claims its latest marketing campaign for the flagship Xperia Z handset helped double its spontaneous smartphone awareness levels to near 30 per cent. The TV campaign reminisced on some of its most famous products from recent decades and was soundtracked by David Bowie’s “Electric Blue”.
Sony still remains a challenger brand in the UK smartphone market, however. In the three months to April 2013 it had just a 5.6 per cent share of the smartphone market in the region, according to comScore.
Both the Xperia Z and Xperia Access campaigns demonstrate the company’s “One Sony” business strategy, which was implemented in April last year. The strategy, devised by CEO Kazuo Hirai, aimed to make its core businesses work closer together, both operationally and through marketing, in a bid to turnaround flagging revenues.