Watch Wes Anderson's Spot for Sony's Xperia Handsets

Ad Kicks Off Company's Return to Smartphone Market

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Sony has launched its return to smartphones with a 60-spot by film director Wes Anderson. The ad is for Xperia handsets, Sony's first line of phones since completing its $1.5 billion buyout of Ericsson last month.

McCann Worldgroup, with digital agency LBi and media shop PHD, are shepherding the campaign, which is expected to be one of Sony's biggest this year. In the "Made of Imagination" spot, Mr. Anderson, whose films include "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and "The Royal Tenenbaums," interviews children on how smartphones work. It's the first iteration in a campaign that will span TV, print, digital, out-of -home and retail throughout the year.

Sony Mobile's chief marketing officer, Steve Walker, has said the company will double or triple ad spending in key markets, including the U.S.

Sony Corp.spent $2.04 billion across all divisions on measured media worldwide in 2010, according to the Ad Age DataCenter. It spent $892.4 million on U.S. media, with more than half going to its movie studios.

Once a leader in handsets, Sony has fallen behind Samsung and Apple. Sony Ericsson had less than 2% of the global handset market last year, while Nokia took 24%, Samsung 18% and Apple 5%, according to Gartner Research.

Sony's hope is that integration with its entertainment products, which range from TVs and game consoles to movies and music, will make the handsets viable competitors. All three Xperia devices provide access to Sony's entertainment network, which provides one login for a flat-fee subscription service for video content and 15 million songs.

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