Draftfcb New Zealand and Sony Enhance Your Swim

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Music is the ultimate performance enhancer.
It lifts your mood, distracts you from fatigue, and is proven to increase your endurance. It’s no wonder MP3 players have become essential for any fitness fanatic. You can barely step foot in a gym without overhearing someone’s thrash metal playlist.

But amidst the cacophony, there is one bastion of silence that remains: the swimming pool. Swimmers have been left to battle on in solitude, with their thoughts their only company.

So when Sony briefed us on the W Series Sports Walkman, its first wearable, wire-free, and waterproof MP3 player, it quickly became clear that swimmers were our ideal target. However, the challenge was getting the attention of this niche market.

How do we get the product in front of swimmers?
Mass media? Probably not particularly effective in this case. We needed to get it somewhere swimmers couldn’t ignore it – right where they needed it the most. So we hijacked something they’ll find in every fitness centre the world over: vending machines. In order to do this, we placed the product in bottled water, something else every swimmer needs, and in doing so created the perfect product demonstration.

The Bottled Walkman
This simple packaging innovation gave us a unique way to display the product, which instantly demonstrated its benefit. It also transformed the humble vending machine into a conversation starter and a distribution channel, allowing swimmers to buy the product as easily as they’d buy a bottle of water.

The swimmers talked, and so did everyone else. Not only did the swimmers keep the vending machines busy, but thanks to our unique approach to the problem, what started as a highly-targeted campaign quickly became a PR success.

The Bottled Walkman earned coverage across print, online and social media platforms, reaching more than 1.3 million people. In addition to this, it also earned a spot on “Breakfast,” New Zealand’s most popular morning TV show.