SERVE UP A STYLE ACE for Sony Ericsson

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SERVE UP A STYLE ACE

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Industry Cell phones, Smartphones & Accessories
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Live Events and or Celebrity endorsement
Advertiser: SONY ERICSSON
Product/Service: MOBILE PHONE
Practice Chair: Philippe Pendaries (Burson-Marsteller)
Associate: Corrissa Collier (Burson-Marsteller)
Client Executive: Oliver Druttman (Burson-Marsteller)
Media placement: Celebrity Event - 350 Pieces Of International Print, Broadcast, Radio, Online, Podcasts - 17 June 2009

Summary of the Campaign
International mobile communications company Sony Ericsson (SE) challenged our team to create a global campaign that would leverage SE’s sponsorship of brand ambassador Maria Sharapova and emphasise the brand’s design credentials without news or new products available to hook a story. The team also had a claim to just one hour of Maria Sharapova’s time to create a media event that would generate the high-profile media coverage SE wanted while the brand was between product launches. The team suggested Sony Ericsson collaborate with the world-renowned London College of Fashion (LCF) and luxury department store Liberty of London to create an original campaign that centered-on a new course for LCF students. The course would encourage students to develop designs that demonstrate how technology can be incorporated into fashion and vice-versa. Maria would launch the course’s winning designs in Liberty of London’s display window days before the start of Wimbledon, generating global media attention. Without the benefit of a global SE media monitoring service, a snapshot of coverage achieved by this campaign includes: over 350 pieces of international print, broadcast, radio, online clips and podcasts reaching a viewership/readership of over 830 million.

The Goal
The main goal was to develop a news hook to generate coverage and raise awareness among SE’s audiences, anyone who would purchase a mobile phone. Our objectives: - Create extensive, high-profile, positive media coverage for SE. - Position SE as a fashion-forward brand and promote its partnership with Maria Sharapova. - Raise awareness of Maria’s work in design and her position as a style icon, thus benefiting SE’s association with her. The team carried out a media and consumer perceptions audit on Maria throughout SE’s global markets to gain insight, align to SE’s objectives and create a unique campaign.

Results
This campaign demonstrates how PR can drive wider business objectives by creating mass brand awareness and demonstrating that Sony Ericsson is at the forefront of technology, innovation and design. Without a monitoring service, snapshot results included: • Over 350 pieces of international print, broadcast, radio, online, podcasts • Viewership/readership of over 830 million We received praise from Maria’s management team, LCF, Liberty staff and Aldo Liguori, Corporate Vice President and Head of Global Communications & PR at Sony Ericsson, who commented after the event: "The idea for the design project was truly inspirational and the execution of the event second to none. Once again, (our agency) has delivered us a groundbreaking, edgy campaign that supports the company’s values and shows us as the exciting and stylish company that we are. The remarkable volume of coverage was due to (our agency)’s planning and ongoing correspondence with our markets around the world".

Execution
The campaign took place in London, over a six-month period from concept to launch. 1. We approached LCF to secure its participation in January 2009. A proposal was submitted to SE and Maria’s management, and plans were approved. 2. Our team, SE and LCF developed the course outline. Maria announced the competition element to the students via video. The course project lasted one term (3 months). 3. The winning design was a dress that lights up alerting you to a phone call via Bluetooth™. The runner- ups included a solar panel mobile phone charger handbag and a spy jacket with mobile phone recording capabilities. 4. To promote the project, Maria unveiled the designs by posing in a display window at Liberty of London the week before Wimbledon (June 2009). The campaign followed its original plan.

The Situation
The team needed to develop a PR campaign that created news between product launches for mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson (SE). The key challenge was creating a project which would be of genuine value to both SE and Maria Sharapova, whilst ensuring the story would be of interest internationally. The team also had to ensure this project took Maria out of the sports pages and into the news pages, so it would appeal to SE’s broader audiences and generate the best possible coverage for the company.

The Strategy
After gaining insight from global consumer research, the team decided to develop an event that focused on the strengths of SE and Maria - their affiliation with design. We approached internationally renowned London College of Fashion (LCF) to develop a course for its students that explored the relationship between fashion and technology. With LCF on board, a new course was created, and 80 international students were briefed on the course by SE’s design team, LCF and Maria. To ensure the best work was created, the student’s designs would be marked as part of their end-of-year coursework. The team also introduced a competition element as an incentive, whereby Maria would launch the winning designs. To ensure maximum media exposure, the team proposed the launch activity for the week before Wimbledon, when interest in Maria would be at its peak.