Social media encourages consumers to believe that anything you can imagine, you can make real

When Sony introduced "make.believe" as its new company-wide brand message, consumers across Sony's multiple business verticals were encouraged to "believe that anything you can imagine, you can make real." We partnered with Sony Corporation of America to generate awareness for the new Sony brand message through a suite of social media promotions on Facebook and Foursquare, each highlighting a different aspect of make.believe.

Sony Corporation of America

Campaign Strategy

We were faced with the challenge of translating the meaning of the make.believe brand message to the company's core demographic of young, technologically savvy consumers. The goal was to generate relevant brand messaging activity across social media and geolocation platforms to drive consumer engagement with the brand. The Sony Facebook brand page served as a hub and home base for information on and access to all the programs, which were also promoted heavily across Sony presences on Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare. Media buys also assisted in supporting these programs and driving traffic to the Sony Facebook page. Over the course of six months, a series of programs were revealed via dedicated Facebook tabs, each featuring a program tied to a different aspect of the brand: the "make music" tab highlighted Sony Music, "make games" showcased Sony PlayStation, "make movies" featured Sony Pictures, while the "check in" and "make.believe" tabs tied all groups back to the overall brand message.

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    Remix Project

    The first program, The Remix Project, gave consumers the tools to "make music" by remixing Sony Music artist Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" for a chance to win a trip to South by Southwest 2011. Sony actively promoted the program on their Facebook account and YouTube channel via a series of custom videos featuring a variety of musical artists and executives. The videos announced program phases, provided sample entries, recognized and thanked entrants for their efforts and also shared the musical talent's personal thoughts on the brand message.

    At the conclusion of the entry period, 10 finalists were selected by a panel of judges. These finalists were then voted on by the public via a Facebook application. Voters were also entered into a Sweepstakes to win Sony electronics and music prizes. Voters could post their Finalist selection to Facebook and also invite their friends to participate. The Remix Project provided a sticky experience for users to interact with Sony Music, who spent an average of 4.5 minutes on the site.

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    Next, Sony utilized a sweepstakes to empower consumers to "make games" in The LittleBigCreation. Participants collaborated to build an original make.believe level for Sony PlayStation's LittleBigPlanet 2 video game via crowd sourced voting. Over a 6-week period, users voted to determine a series of game elements, including game type, characters, music and more in a dedicated Facebook application. Users could share their votes, invite friends to participate, see real time voting results and watch video of the game in development. Users had the ability to vote daily and each interaction submitted them into a sweepstakes featuring new Sony electronics and gaming prizes each week as well as an overall grand prize of an all expenses paid trip to the E3 conference. Simple user interface and emphasis on collaboration helped The LittleBigCreation exceed expectations with a 3x higher share rate than previous benchmarks.

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    Continuing its focus on creativity, Sony again utilized a contest coupled with a voting sweepstakes to invite fans to "make movies." In the Priest in 3D Trailer Challenge, Sony showcased Sony Pictures Entertainment with a Facebook application that gave users the tools to cut their own trailer for the movie Priest in 3D. Users gained access to footage, music, sound effects and transitions to create a piece that could be shared on Facebook. At the end of the submission period, judges selected 10 finalists who were voted on by the public via a sweepstakes. The winner of the video contest received a trip to Los Angeles for the premiere. Finalists and winning voters received Sony electronics and film tickets. The Priest in 3D Trailer Challenge produced over 6,000 unique trailer entries in a three week period, with almost 462,000 total views of unique fan-made trailers. As with The Remix Project, Sony utilized a series of talent-driven videos to help promote the program. They leveraged real-time consumer interactivity on Facebook and Twitter to announce new phases, answer questions and respond to enthusiastic fans.

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    Users were encouraged to engage further with Sony's brand message in The make.believe Gallery. Users were asked to submit a photo that best expressed one of five descriptions that help to define Sony's brand message, then upload their photos via standard upload or Facebook integration and select the appropriate description. Photos were run through a moderation process, and approved images were posted in an interactive photo gallery that users could explore and share. The make.believe Gallery had the highest success in terms of user engagement, with an average of 6.5 minutes spent on site. Judges selected one winning image which was revealed in a media stunt seen by millions—including a masthead takeover on YouTube, a takeover and a featured placement on Sony's Times Square billboard in New York.

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    In addition to these multiple Facebook promotions, Sony generated awareness for its make.believe brand message by creating an official brand page on Foursquare and driving traffic to promotional activity there through a dedicated "check in" tab on Facebook. Over the six month period, a series of programs were run, awarding Foursquare users prizes for checking in while visiting select locations and events. Sony electronics and gift card prizes were awarded at a number of locations and events including Sony Store locations, the Sony booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and the LittleBigPlanet 2 Guinness Book of World Records Event in New York, among other locations. Users who were unable to attend these events could follow the brand to get Sony-related tips for a growing number of cities across the U.S. The Sony brand page on Foursquare, launched in December 2010, has since garnered over 415,000 followers and counting.

By the end of six months, the success of the make.believe promotional programs' effort at targeting consumers through social media and driving awareness could be seen in dramatic growth across Sony's social media pages.

© 2013 Sony Corporation of America


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