Sony's Pull of Gravity

Consumer electronics unit's adventure-sports play

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%%STORYIMAGE_LEFT%% In keeping with its nearly 2-year-old effort to market its myriad products—camcorders, cameras, personal computers and ATRAC/MP3 CD Walkman—to consumers by life stages, Sony Consumer Electronics has teamed up with sports filmmaker Teton Gravity Research to connect to 20-something sports-adventure enthusiasts.

The centerpiece of the partnership is the inclusion of Sony Consumer Electronics' products in Teton Gravity's recently released ski-and-snowboard film, "High Life," now showing nationwide. This generation's answer to cult-action filmmaker Warren Miller, popular in the '70s and '80s, Teton Gravity's films feature professional athletes like ski-and-snowboarders Micah Black and Hugo Harrison and soundtracks packed with songs from popular bands such as Metallica as well as older groups such as Heart.

Teton Gravity also hosts special shows at more than 20 venues nationwide where fans can watch the film and afterward hear live bands.

"Our demographic is interested in music, electronics," said Dirk Collins, Teton Gravity co-founder. "Sony was a natural fit for us."

%%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%% In exchange for a low-six-figure fee from Sony Electronics—a minuscule portion of the marketer's $41 million spent in measured media from January to August 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR—Teton Gravity Research has over a 10-month period delivered 16.5 million impressions to Sony through a variety of media that include print ads, online and event marketing.

Though small compared to the hundreds of millions of viewers reached via a 30-second spot on network TV, the demographic Sony Electronics reaches via Teton Gravity is in the sweet spot: 25 years old, mostly male, spending $3,000 annually on gear, according to Rory Strunk, CEO Aura360, Portland, Maine, the media-and-events marketing firm that brought Sony and Teton together.

"There can be a trade-off between depth and reach," said Hugh Seaton, marketing manager, Sony Consumer Electronics. "What we're trying to do is to get into lifestyles."

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