Sony and Naked Communications, Tokyo, launched a digital campaign to promote the brand’s range of smartphone-compatible headphones.

The Headphone Music Festival launched on 20 December 2012, and enabled people to enjoy performances from four rock groups, in augmented reality. Fans could ‘attend’ the festival by downloading a dedicated app and holding their phone up to a Headphone Music Festival poster in the streets of Tokyo. The app then recognised the trigger and displayed one of the four rock bands performing, virtually. See the video above for a demonstration of this.

Fans could also head to a number of music stores, or electronics outlets across the city to take part, and Sony’s new range of MDR-1 headphones were handed out for audiences to sample.

According to Naked, the campaign generated $1m of earned media and attracted 460,000 people during the festival period.


Contagious Insight
Augmented reality activations on outdoor billboards have been used by many brands in the past – however at Contagious we often see brands using it only to showcase the technology rather than for a genuine purpose.

Sony’s Headphone Music Festival, however, does at least have a direct relevance to the product: the MDR-1 headphones are at the very heart of the experience. Naked told Contagious that the core aim of this campaign was to explore ways in which consumers could test the new headphones, with a view to encouraging people to stop using their standard set (supplied free with their phone) and invest in headphones specifically designed for smartphones. The AR, therefore, is really just a hook to get Tokyo residents to stop, test out the product and experience this higher sound quality. And with the impressive numbers touted by Naked, this hook seems to have paid off significantly.


This is the latest in a series of blog posts from Contagious Feed, a database of the most creative and effective marketing campaigns around. Contagious – a midem content partner – guides and advises brands and their agencies on competitor activity and future opportunities. More information here.

About Author

James Martin is Head of Social Media for Midem organisers Reed MIDEM. This includes defining and rolling out Midem's social media strategy, editing midemblog, influencer outreach, developing Midem's fanbase of 75,000+ music professionals and more.

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