More and more science tells us emotion, not rational thought, is the gatekeeper to consumer behavior. the most emtionally engaging experiences are the most effective communications.


CHALLENGE: Sony recognized a problem in the HDTV purchasing process. A flood of new products and terminology left many consumers overwhelmed and confused by technobabble. Sony wanted a new and interesting way to help consumers get educated about HD, and enlightened about Sony's superior HDTVs, at retail.

INSIGHT: Through our research we discovered that millions of homes with HDTVs weren't actually watching HD programming. Unaware that a specific HD source was needed, HDTV owners wrongly assumed they were already watching HD programming, leading to disappointment in the experience and the investment. This and other poor installation experiences caused an unsettling number of Sony HDTVs to be returned.

IDEA: PowerPact developed HD Test Drive, a comprehensive in-store interactive program that helped demonstrate the HD experience and entire setup process, in a simple and enjoyable manner. The program featured an entertaining video called The Sony HD Report, a whimsical newscast featuring Comedy Central's Mo Rocca, Samantha Bee and Jason Jones. The comedic news-style video poked fun at HD confusion and broke down barriers between its products and features. It also presented information about how to get full-HD in a fun and easy-to-understand way. We utilized The Sony HD Report online, in-store and in-home via custom TiVo content and cable network Video-on-Demand. HD Test Drive was co-driven by specially trained Sony Sales staff that guided consumers through the purchasing steps. The program was supported with signage, a consumer-friendly buyers' guide and retail circulars. An overlay sweepstakes leveraging Sony sports sponsorships of Peyton Manning, Ryan Newman and Michelle Wie, as well as Sony Pictures' assets like the James Bond movie Casino Royale, helped draw consumer attention and involvement at retail.

RESULTS: The program was successfully activated at a large number of retail outlets throughout the country, every weekend for seven months. It exceeded Sony's goals of consumer demos, sales rep training, sweepstakes entries, and most importantly, sales. In-store intercepts revealed that 80% of participating consumers were more likely to purchase a Sony. Also, 72% stated the program reduced confusion and led to an earlier purchase. The program went on to win a Silver Reggie in the Shopper Marketing category.