Sony embedded a secret message in a new digital video ad
Sony’s latest digital ad for its flagship Xperia Z5 phone may have seemed just like a regular video, but Scandinavian viewers with a bit of an eye found that it also contained a little secret message.
The new phone has an autofocus of just 0.03 seconds, which is also the exact length of time a frame is visible in a video. The speed of the autofocus is a selling point, so CP+B Scandinavia chose to highlight it by putting a hidden message in one of the frames: an email address. Viewers who spotted it and sent an email to the address and stood a chance to win a free phone.
“We know we have creative and curious consumers who would like to engage with content like this,” Martina Johansson, Nordic brand and communications manager at Sony Mobile, told Digiday. “We wanted to show the new features in an interesting way.”
People were actually quite quick to catch the email address after the video was first posted online Nov. 18 — some within minutes. Sony didn’t drop any hints either. Viewer Tina Moen Eng was one of the first few that took notice. She emailed Sony and ended up winning a Sony Xperia Z5.
The video is part of Sony’s broader global campaign for the new Sony Xperia Z5. In the U.K., Sony unveiled its “Made for Bond” advertising campaign ahead of the release of the the new James Bond film “Spectre.” In Scandinavia, this video with the hidden frame is a fun way of showing people just exactly how fast the new autofocus really is.
According to CP+B, the idea comes from the subliminal messages that a market researcher named James Vicary stuck into a film clip in the 1950s in one notorious experiment. The words “Eat Popcorn” and “Drink Coca-Cola” flashed for a single frame — allegedly long enough for the subconscious to pick up, but too short for the viewer to become aware of it. He doctored the results of his survey, but managed to find his way into advertising lore.
“Our idea is inspired by this,” said Max Hultberg, art director at CP+B Scandinavia. “Not by affecting people subconsciously, but by adding frames that are visible for only a fraction of a second — just as fast as the Xperia Z5’s autofocus.”
According to Sony, the response has been great. Sony plans to extend the campaign with more videos, and is telling consumers to keep their eyes open on its social platforms for more undiscovered Easter eggs out there.
“I think we have confirmed what we already knew, that consumers have to be given fun and interesting reasons to watch branded communication,” said Johansson.
‘More dollars to experiential’: Why Walmart is still using experiential marketing to pitch Walmart+ — even during coronavirus crisis
The company is working with influencers and media partners to bring some of the missed “special moments” that had been canceled throughout 2020 to life.
Member Exclusive‘Don’t have the luxury of doing good’: The age of dissonance continues at this year’s ANAs — and beyond
When there’s an on-going global pandemic that’s crippling whole brand categories, it was hard to hear the CMOs speaking at the ANAs.
Twitch emerges as rising platform for beauty brands
Twitch’s over 17.5 million daily active users are gaining growing attention from companies well beyond the traditional gaming world.
SponsoredBrands are tapping gameday energy to drive engagement with content on social
As the world adjusts to the new normal, sports and entertainment publishers are faced with a challenge — with live audiences no longer able to take their seats at stadiums and arenas, how do they get passionate fans involved in the energy of the moment on social media? From the NBA to MTV, publishers had to […]
‘Show we’re listening’: Why agencies are lending office furniture, offering WiFi stipends to employees as new pandemic-era perks
With a hybrid reality in the offing, rethinking perks to include ways to make working from home better for employees has become a focus for leaders.
‘Shopping patterns will feel longer and flatter’: Gap’s CMO on preparing for holiday campaigns
Mary Alderete on the upended marketing calendar and Gap’s plans to lean into the extended holiday season this year.