CASE STUDY: Sony's 'Headphone Music Festival' showcases technology through entertainment

To showcase the advantages of its headphone and smartphone technology, Sony worked with Frontage and Naked Communications Tokyo to enable fans of four major Japanese music acts to be part of a festival from diverse locations.

As smartphone usage continues to increase in Japan, more and more people are listening to music through their mobile devices. However, the majority use default earphones that come with their handsets.

Sony worked with Naked Communications to explore ways of changing consumer behaviour by offering headphones specifically designed for smartphones and an overall higher quality music experience.

The approach resulted in the ‘Headphone Music Festival’, the world’s first virtual music festival. The event used Sony’s proprietary augmented reality technology, SmartAR to create original live AR videos with four best-selling local rock groups. People were able to ‘attend’ the festival via their handsets on the streets of Tokyo, at retail outlets such as Beams and electronics stores across the country. At each venue, people were offered a free trial of Sony’s latest headphones.

The MDR-1 became the top selling headphone on, Japan’s leading price comparison e-commerce site, in January 2013. The initiative also generated around US$1 million worth of free publicity and attracted 390,000 fans in the space of a month.

Client: Sony Marketing Japan
Agency:  Naked Communications, Frontage
Production: Kakezan, MTV Japan, Plannet, P.I.C.S.
AR System Development: Sony Corporation Intelligent System Development

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