Sony Mobiles faced stiff competition in the Indian smartphone market from Samsung, HTC and Blackberry and needed to raise awareness as the smartphone of choice amongst Indian youth. The marketing team at Sony, together with 20:20 Social chalked out a plan to achieve this by leveraging the Facebook page. As a result of which the brand gained 800,000 fans in eight months with consistently increasing engagement levels. According to a Nielsen McKinsey survey, Sony Mobile is the 10th most socially engaged brand in India.
Raise awareness of Sony Ericsson as the smartphone of choice amongst Indian youth, leveraging the Facebook page.
Research and Insights
Insights were gained to design a strategy. Desktop research and social media analysis that included listening to and monitoring communities and conversations gave the required insights. The findings were as follows:
- Sony was perceived to be a youthful brand with music and sound quality being the unique selling points of its smartphones amongst the target audience.
- Peer-to-peer recommendations were one of the prime drivers of smartphone purchase decisions.
- Based on the analysis, 13 to 25 year-olds were identified as the key target for Sony smartphones and a campaign was built around the channels frequented by this audience – Facebook and YouTube.
- Sound quality and looks are the most appealing attributes to the target group.
Based on the research, a strategy that reflected ‘vibrancy and youth’ was crafted. It focused on engaging audiences through an integrated programme that straddled social media, TV commercials and product launches.
A series of contests, quizzes and crowdsourced content were employed to generate widespread awareness and engagement on social platforms. Shiamak Davar, India’s best-known choreographer and youth icon, was roped in for a dance contest. Existing Sony relationships were leveraged upon using popular products like Bravia TVs and sound accessories as rewards and using the Sony Pictures association with ‘Spiderman’ for a mini contest giving away Spiderman merchandise.
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Content strategy was to co-create maximum content through fans using contests. High levels of participation and engagement were ensured by sharing examples of what the brand was looking for, be it photo or video contests.
How they did it?
For a company in one of the hottest consumer markets in India – the mobile phone, it was important to have a digital program closely aligned to the global and local sales and marketing teams of Sony mobile. It was also necessary to have competitive intelligence.
As a result, they had the capabilities to seamlessly execute campaigns in tandem with new product launches on multiple social platforms. Their intelligence tools measured up Sony’s competitors and planted the roots for a 360 degree Social Customer Relationship Management and a capability for social commerce.
Campaign 1: A Facebook app was created that asked users for written and video reviews of Sony Mobile smartphones. This showcased the recommendations of technology enthusiasts so that actionable changes to the product marketing and design teams, straight from the fans, could be made.
Campaign 2: A Sony Mobile Arclight ‘LookBook’ competition was launched for Facebook fans, asking them to send stylish images of themselves to feature in an official album to be launched on Facebook. This was for Sony Mobile’s Arclight smartphone, which embodies superior design, feel and look.
Campaign 3: This was for the With Live Walkman smartphone, ideal for music lovers and began with featuring an upcoming TV commercial featuring a celebrity. The TVC featured the Facebook page, making it a truly cross-media promotion. It resulted in a second competition – one of the largest online dance video contests, ‘Go Thump! With Live Walkman’. Users were asked to upload videos of dances to be judged by Shiamak. Contestants were asked to dance to the music of the commercial for their video, and an app on Facebook populated a specially created YouTube channel for Sony Ericsson in India.
Additionally, the flagship Sony Mobile Xperia S launch events were supported by leveraging the audiences on existing platforms. All three launch events were livestreamed on Facebook, bringing hundreds more to the launch virtually.
Campaign 4: ‘Get Shorty’, is currently running for the Xperia U smartphone, which allows users to change the colour and appearance of the lower portion of the phone. Get Shorty asks users to upload photos showcasing their true colours, following which an app analyses the pictures to give the person’s true colour. This campaign was coupled with a Spiderman Trivia quiz, timed to coincide with the release of ‘Spiderman-3’, and gave away Xperia U smartphones to winners along with Spiderman merchandise.
- Xperia S sales targets were met within three days.
- The number of fans for Sony Mobile India quadrupled from over 500,000 to over 2 million within twelve months of managing the Facebook page.
- Sony Mobile was recognised as the 10th most popular brand on social media in India by NM Incite, a joint venture by Nielsen and McKinsey & Co.
- 95 million+ impressions and 35 million users were reached within the first eight months of managing the Facebook page.
- Engaged 600,000 non-fans, and added 2,000+ fans every day with over 10,000 stories created around posts each day.
- The viral effect of more than 1,000 dance videos brought more than 1,300 people every day to the Sony Mobile India Facebook page and subscribers to the associated YouTube channel.
- The Spiderman quiz had 5,000 registrations and more than 26,000 answers in the four days it was open.