CHALLENGE: In recent years, glitches surrounding the Microsoft Vista operating system, combined with the halo effect of Apple's popular iPod and the successful "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" campaign, have resulted in increasingly dated perceptions of PCs, particularly among 30-something and younger consumers. Sony VAIO needed to breakthrough the PC stigma and get people to buy during the back-to-school selling season, coinciding with the launch of the VAOI FW notebook.
INSIGHT: Shoppers across the board are gravitating to personalized products that allow them to express their own style and personality.
IDEA: Recognizing these trends, the VAIO My Graphic Splash PC Design Contest was created. At retail and at Sony Style stores shoppers were encouraged to go online and submit their own notebook computer top case designs. The winning design could receive $5,000 and a VIP trip to New York City, as well as having their design sold on SonyStyle.com. With a smashing amount of entries, the top eight finalists were selected by celebrity judges Lauren Conrad (MTV Reality Star), Maya Hayuk (pop-culture painter/artist), and Kelly Nishimoto (The Style Network show host) at the Microsoft PROJECT event in Las Vegas – a global trade show for the fashion industry. Event attendees were given a chance to vote on each finalist as their design was paraded down the runway. Sony never looked so good.
RESULTS: The program was a resounding success for Sony, in sales, contest submissions, site traffic, and voting participation. Contest submissions exceeded goal by more than 750%. Consumer engagement with the program on-line indicated that Sony was helpful in facilitating a way for consumers to express their personal sense of style. Total number of unique visitors to contest web site: 84,529. Total number of page views: 819,222. Total number of registered users for design submissions: 2,793. Although sales lift numbers are proprietary to Sony, the program was effective in increasing sales on VAIO Graphic Splash Notebooks. The program even received two prestigious Bronze Reggie Awards for Best National Program and Digital Campaign, under $1 million.