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    Out of the Box and Into Bottled Water

    Have you ever wondered why companies and organizations out there spend billions on marketing? We’ll tell you the reason behind this – “it is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”

    There’s no better way of telling a story than by engaging consumers in branded experiences, a strategy known as experiential marketing. Thinking what this strategy is all about?

    Well, we present before you an example of this outstanding marketing technique employed by the Japanese tech giant, Sony, in collaboration with the creative agency “draftfcb”, back in 2014.

    The product in question was the brand new ‘W’ series sports walkman – Sony’s first wearable, wire-less, and waterproof MP3 Player.

    It was clear at once that the product targeted all swimmers, performance sports athletes and health-conscious groups in general. The compact MP3 player was designed specifically to withstand not just water but also sweat from intense workouts.

    Now, the challenge was to grab the attention of this niche market.

    Traditional marketing mediums such as mass media or offline advertising would hardly have proven effective considering the target market under study.

    So, they went ahead and converted vending machines in fitness centres across the world into their sales portal.

    They placed the product in bottled water- something that every swimmer needs. They made it almost impossible for swimmers and athletes to ignore their product and created the perfect demonstration.

    This simple packaging innovation gave Sony a unique way to display the product and instantly demonstrate its benefit, i.e. its waterproof feature.

    It also transformed the humble vending machine into a conversation starter and a distribution channel, allowing swimmers to buy the product as easily as they’d buy a bottle of water.

    Since the days of the earliest digital watches all tech users have been anything but suspicious of the word “waterproof”. Looking closely enough at the packaging usually turns up a disclaimer along the lines of “up to 20 minutes in up to 1m of water”.

    Hence, when you see a walkman sitting in a bottle of water after being transported, for who knows how long, it speaks volumes about the company’s faith and confidence in the product.

    The final touch of this campaign that makes it immensely unique is its selling point – gym vending machines. The main target demographic is not only being exposed to a brilliant marketing scheme, but when seeing and buying is as easy as an online purchase, with an even faster delivery, you can’t help being tempted.

    There is no doubt that this is one of the cleverest ploys to have been adopted in the domain of marketing.

    Success for the store?

    This marketing technique proved to be successful, reaching a whopping 1.3 Million people, the campaign was enough to gather the attention of the desired target audience. Something as simple but in the same time equally clever helped Sony reap wide success. The campaign also earned a spot on “Breakfast”, one of the most popular morning TV Show’s in New Zealand.

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