Sony Creates HoloLens Mixed Reality Game To Promote New Smurfs Movie

What Happened
To promote the release of the new Smurfs reboot movie, Sony Pictures is inviting moviegoers to explore the Smurfs village in a mixed reality generated by Microsoft’s HoloLens headsets. Collaborating with media agency OMD, AOL advertising content creators Partner Studio, and VR production company UNIT9, this mixed reality experience asks players to explore various exotic locations taken from the movie and eventually find a “Lost Village.” After placing on the headset, players can use flat surfaces and tabletops as foundations to activate the experience.

What Brands Need To Do
This is a commendable effort on Sony’s part to leverage interactive HoloLens content to drive engagement and interests. While HoloLens is still limited in its availability and therefore low in consumer adoption, it provides a platform for brands to create cutting-edge immersive experiences that will stand out from the run-of-the-mill VR content many brands have started dabbling in. In the long run, this type of interactive experience will provide the digital assets crucial for establishing franchises. When it comes to picking the right immersive content platform to develop content for, brands need to take its long-term value into considerations and chose one that best fits their campaign objectives.

How We Can Help
Our dedicated team of VR experts is here to guide marketers through the distribution landscape. We work closely with brands to develop sustainable VR content strategies to promote branded VR and 360 video content across various apps and platforms. With our proprietary technology stack powered by a combination of best-in-class VR partners and backed by the media fire-power of IPG Mediabrands, we offer customized solutions for distributing and measuring branded VR content that truly enhance brand messaging and contribute to the campaign objectives.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Lab can help you tap into the immersive power of VR content to engage with customers, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Barrett ([email protected]) to schedule a visit to the Lab.


Source: VRScout

Header image courtesy of AOL Global Partner Studios

Sony Sponsors NCAA “Boss Button” For March Madness Viewers To Promote PlayStation Vue

What Happened
Sony took a fun and unorthodox way to promote PlayStation Vue by creating a branded “Boss Button” for basketball fans who are watching the NCAA March Madness games at work. Also known as a panic button, the Boss Button allows slackers watching the game on NCAA’s site to quickly switch to a normal-looking PowerPoint file titled “Progress Score” whenever someone important walks by (this doesn’t work in offices with an open floor plan, obviously). If they happen to take a second look at the presentation, they will find that it is actually an ad for PlayStation Vue, Sony’s OTT TV streaming service. NCAA has been putting Boss Button on their online media player for March Madness games since 2006, but this is the first time a brand has been integrated into this goofy feature.

What Brands Need To Do
This is a cool example of how brands can think outside the box to reach customers in unexpected places. At a time when ad blockers and ad-free streaming services are helping millions of viewers avoid ads, brands and media owners need to take proactive measure and experiment with new ways, such as sponsored content and native integrations a la this Boss Button, to win back the eyeballs.


Source: ReCode


Header image courtesy of Sony and NCAA

Sony Pictures Launches AI-Powered Chatbot To Promote Resident Evil Movie

What Happened
Sony Pictures has created an AI version of the Red Queen character from its film Resident Evil: The Final Chapter to promote its impending theatrical release. Partnering with artificial intelligence agency IV.AI, the companies created a chatbot across messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and Telegram and social media in multiple languages to engage with fans to build up buzz. This is not the first time sony has created a chatbot to promote one of its movies. Previously, it worked with our sibling agency UM to create a Facebook chatbot to promote the Goosebumps movie.

What Brands Need To Do
Sony’s latest chatbot effort offers another example of an entertainment brand seeking engagement with their prospective audience with a chatbot, following the Kik chatbot that Paramount created to promote the Teenage Ninja Turtle movie. As consumers continue to embrace messaging apps and chatbot services, brands need to consider developing useful bots to reach customers on the popular messaging apps they’re already using.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building branded chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The NiroBot we built in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a chatbot experience supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on messaging apps and other conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related clients and learning opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) to schedule a visit to the Lab.


Source: Marketing Dive

Taco Bell And Sony Set Up NYC Pop-Up To Showcase PlayStation VR Experiences

What Happened
Taco Bell is teaming up with Sony to combine the power of tacos and virtual reality in a joint marketing campaign. The two companies set up a pop-up arcade in New York City this week to promote the upcoming PlayStation VR headset along with its own products. Visitors are invited to try out two fun VR experiences, escaping a shark tank or riding on a luge, make custom taco GIFs at a DIY station, and sample various Taco Bell products for free.

There’s also a taco truck outside the pop-up serving visitors cheddar habanero quesaritos, a limited-time product from Taco Bell. Starting Thursday, Taco Bell diners that purchase a $5 Big Box meal will receive a code to enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win one of over 3,300 Sony PlayStation VR headsets, which will go on sale on Oct. 13.

What Brands Need To Do
Taco Bell has a history of partnering with Sony for this type of joint marketing effort. Sony even created a limited-edition gold version of the PS4 that was only available through Taco Bell. This new campaign enlists the immersive power of VR to deliver a fun, engaging experience for consumers while also promoting their products. As VR technology continues to mature, they are becoming a popular choice for experiential marketing. Brands should consider striking mutually beneficial partnerships to create memorable experiences for customers.

The Lab currently has four VR headsets — an Oculus Rift, an HTC Vive, and two Samsung Gear VRs — ready for demos. Virtual reality is something that has to be experienced to be understood, so come by the Lab and ask for a VR demo to get a hands-on experience and figure out how your brand can use it to excite and engage with consumers.


Source: AdWeek

Header image courtesy of Taco Bell’s Promotional Video

Sony Pictures Found A Workaround To Run 360 Video Ads On Snapchat

What Happened
Snapchat has yet to support 360-degree video in its app, but Sony Pictures has found a workaround to incorporate 360-degree video into its ads on the messaging app. To promote its upcoming thriller “Don’t Breathe,” the movie studio bought 10-second video ads on Snapchat that prompt users to swipe up for more content. Once they swipe up, viewers will be treated to a 90-second “Don’t Breathe” 360-degree video on a web page inside the app.

What Brands Need To Do
360-degree content offers an immersive experience that brands can use to engage with consumers. While it is unclear whether Snapchat will add support for 360-degree video any time soon, Sony’s workaround shows that there is a way to reach the Snapchat audience with 360-degree video. With mainstream platforms like YouTube and Facebook now supporting the format, 360-degree videos are only going to become more popular among consumers. For brands looking to stay ahead of the curve, now is the time to start developing branded 360-degree content and make it easily accessible.


Source: Variety


Sony’s Crackle To Develop Ad-Supported VR Content

What Happened
Sony’s free, ad-supported OTT content service Crackle is launching a VR initiative to gain an edge over the other streaming services. According to Sony, it is planning to launch a virtual theater experience and will offer sponsorship opportunities in VR to advertisers. Crackle’s first VR content will be a special from its animated comedy “SuperMansion.” The VR content will be available on PlayStation VR, Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard, and viewable as 360-degree videos on smartphones.

What Brands Need To Do
With more and more content creators starting to create VR and 360-degree content, brands are gaining opportunities to create immersive branded content to capture consumer attention and engage their audiences with. Although virtual reality may still be a few years away from mass adoption (as we predicted in the 2020 section in our Outlook 2016), brands would be smart to start working with content creators and platforms like Crackle to develop their own branded VR content today.


Source: Variety

Sony Officially Joins The OTT Market With PlayStation Vue

Read original story on: WSJ

Sony first announced its over-the-top TV streaming service PlayStation Vue last November, and now 4 months later, the company is ready to officially enter the crowded and ever-shifting OTT market. The subscription-based service will first launch commercially in New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia in the next two weeks, with nationwide rollout planned by the end of the year.

Why Sony Is Now The PlayStation Company

Read original story on: The Verge

Earlier this week, Sony announced that it has started spinning off its audio and video divisions, after a similar decision to spin off its television division last year. This means that in a few years, Sony would exit the laptop, smartphone, and TV markets entirely, leaving only its movie studio, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and its PlayStation division as company’s core business.

Such focus seems necessary since Sony’s mobile division reportedly cost the company over $1.5 billon in Q2 2014, while the gaming division earned the company $200 million in profit. It’s also safe to conclude that failure to compete with rival Asian tech giant Samsung, especially in the smartphone and TV markets, played an important part in Sony’s drastic decision.


Sony Adds Spotify Integration

Read original story on: Wired

Sony announced that it’s replacing its existing streaming music service, Sony Music Unlimited, with a new Spotify-powered service called PlayStation Music. With the Spotify partnership, Sony acquires not only an immense library of music, but also the infrastructure to infiltrate the increasingly competitive streaming music market. The new service is set to launch some time this spring on the PS4 and PS3 game consoles, as well as on Sony’s Xperia smartphones and tablets.