Sony advances networking idea in $20 mil effort

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Sony Electronics is mounting an estimated $20 million marketing effort to promote the creative possibilities in linking portable audio/video devices--such as digital camcorders and cameras--with computers.

The multimedia campaign by Y&R Advertising, New York, kicks off Nov. 7, with TV spots showcasing how easy it is to create family videos using a Sony Digital 8 camcorder and Vaio PC.

The effort, also supported by print, online and a retail component, marks the start of Sony's considerable promotion of digital convergence technologies and advances its portable audio, PC and video-centric networking concepts.

The new campaign follows closely on the heels of a home entertainment brand effort that also pointed to the connectivity between Sony devices.

Using the tag "Change the way you see the world," the spot shows a skateboarder who botches a competitionTo console his son, the father compiles and edits old videos of previous winning competitions.

MORE THAN COMPUTING

"We wanted to show how the Vaio PC is more than just a computing tool, it really is an entertainment tool," said Mark Viken, senior VP-consumer products group, digital imaging.

Sony also breaks a four-page magazine insert in technology and lifestyle publications that introduces Memory Stick, a chewing gum-sized portable data storage card that's the cornerstone of the company's networking concept.

The insert highlights the Memory Stick's imaging, music and data-capture capabilities and shows compatible Sony products. Using the tiny medium with a Sony Cyber-shot camera enables consumers to shoot, capture, view and print images without a PC.

The inserts will run through April; Sony also expects to use a two-page version.

Currently, about a dozen Sony products support the Memory Stick personal networking concept, and marketers such as Pioneer Electronics USA and Sharp Electronics have licensed the technology and plan to develop Memory Stick-based products.

Separately, with Microsoft Corp., Sony is sponsoring a truck tour through 2000 on digital convergence products and applications.

"We're driving a market and it's a much bigger vision. . . . Personal networking, data, pictures, music can all move very simply and easily from one device to another," Mr. Viken said.

Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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