Donald Bell, one of the senior editors at CNET posted an article in CRAVE – CNET’s gadget blog about a promotion Sony has been running to showcase the experimental music scene in Japan. The video above features a musician playing a fluorescent tube (it’s called an ‘Optron’ if you want to pick one up for your kids) – which is basically a mic’d fluorescent tube used to generate signals through a guitar effects box.
Sony has sponsored a series of these videos over the last year in Japan to promote their Walkman MP3 players. The extent of their brand promotion is limited to the appearance of the Walkman logo at the end of the video. In his article Bell comments, “I’m not sure if they do anything to make me want to buy a Walkman, but I’m certainly convinced that the Japanese experimental music scene alive and well.” I’m not sure if seeing Tiger Woods image makes me want to purchase golf equipment, or cars or consulting services either, but it probably doesn’t hurt.
Using video to promote your brand via social media networks can be a delicate exercise. My feeling is that Sony, at least in the Japanese market, has done a great job in associating their brand with something that is cool and relevant for the demographic they are trying to reach. It’s hard to know whether the Walkman logo at the end of the video is seen as a good thing – ‘Wow, Sony sponsored you!’ or a bad thing – ‘Man, you sold out!’ but either way Sony is associating it’s brand with content that is relevant to their target audience.
The benefit of creating video that targets social media networks is that you can be more selective in who you want to reach and what messages you want to relate to those specific groups. This is the true power of the Internet and social media. You don’t need to create an expensive commercial that appeals to everyone. You need to understand what your audience is interested in (entertainment, hobbies, professional interests, lifestyles, learning, etc.) associate your brand with that content and find a way to reach that audience.
Here is a link to another Sony promoted video. It’s an engaging combination of culinary skills, musicianship and rock’in awesomeness. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlEl1B7sjK8