Behind the Work: Sony Balls Revisited

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Sony has revived its famous "Balls" commercial with a new-look version -- and a different ad agency -- to celebrate the start of the Wimbledon tennis fortnight and to promote Sony's 3D TV coverage of the final weekend of the tournament.

The spot shows thousands of green tennis balls bouncing through Wimbledon's peaceful, leafy suburban streets, in scenes reminiscent of Fallon, London's 2005 spot for the Sony Bravia TV, which showed thousands of multicolored balls bouncing through the hilly streets of San Francisco. The original "Balls" spot was a favorite to win the Film Grand Prix at the 2006 Cannes Lions festival, but was beaten out by another popular U.K. spot, Guinness's "Evolution," by Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO.

In the Wimbledon version, a mail carrier steps back to watch the sea of tennis balls bouncing past him, knocking over a street sign and a bicycle as they go.

The wave of tennis balls makes its way through streets and pathways toward a couple sitting on a sofa located in the Wimbledon grounds. They are wearing 3D glasses, and when they reach out to try and catch the balls, they grasp at nothing but air.

The spot, which will be distributed online with the hope that it will go viral, was created by London integrated agency Crayon and promises "Wimbledon as you've never seen it before. Wimbledon finals weekend brought to you in glorious 3D." It will be the first time that any match at the tournament has been broadcast in 3D in Wimbledon's 125-year history.

The seeding of the film is being handled by Omnicom Group's OMD U.K.

The film will be backed by print and social-media campaigns, and by a field-marketing effort in London, where 10,000 tennis balls branded will be handed out.

Sony is offering five pairs of tickets to the ladies' singles final on July 2 for the winners of a competition to "Catch the balls online" at The game involves collecting virtual tennis balls from across the internet, with each ball securing an entry into the prize draw for tickets. There will also be chances to win a range of Sony's 3D products.

Matt Coombe, general manager of brand marketing at Sony, said, "This project is based around a great creative idea that not only cleverly maximizes nostalgia around a previous Sony campaign, but explodes the idea digitally without having to support it with TV."

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