Sony Ericsson wanted to promote their new line of Xperia smartphones, they also had their Sony Ericsson Tennis Open coming up so they decided to create a campaign that will promote both at the same time. Having already promoted the open as the first “fully integrated” Foursquare event, they wanted the campaign to be based in social media as well.
Therefore, they went for a campaign that was part reality show, part commercial, and that interacts fully with the public through social media, the Xperia Hotshots Campaign.
The Xperia Hotshots will follow six up and coming female Tennis stars. The show will follow the girls around the world on the WTA tour, having fun off court and meeting the stars of the world on their way to stardom. The lucky girls are Bethanie Mattek-Sands from the USA, Heather Watson from the UK, Alize Cornet from France, Sabine Lisicki from Germany, Sorana Cirstea from Romania and Dominika Cibulkova from Slovakia, and fans will be able to vote on their favorite contestant who, in September, will receive a €100,000.
The campaign has been well received; three days after the reveal on the 21st of March and their Facebook page already has more than 87,000 fans.
Each of the upcoming stars has their own Facebook page and Twitter accounts to interact with their fans, and currently some are more successful than the others in garnering likes and followers. Currently, Sorana Cirstea is leading with 26,000 likes, but haven’t used her Twitter since May, 2010. A quick look at the many comments left on the campaigns’ Facebook page you will notice that the majority of the them are about how hot, beautiful, and wanted those women are, and that the majority of the people commenting are males.
- Know your audience. The campaign is squarely aimed at youth which will be a win-win for both Sony Ericsson and WTA given that the majority of the audience of both brands are from the youth and knowing the young stars of the WTA will appeal to them, especially the males.
- Attach a big name for initial exposure. Attaching Maria Sharapova’s name to hotshots gave the campaign the initial exposure required to make more than 80,000 fans to like the page on Facebook in the span of the first 3 days after its lunch.
- Understand the medium you are using. People watch reality shows not because the contestants are friendly but because there are some amusing and usually scandalous situations and contestants so I’m not quite sure whether this was the best medium for the campaign since the WTA would be keeping an eye on this to maintain their image. Therefore, sadly I doubt that this campaign will be a success because people will quickly lose interest and, come May, no body will care about this campaign or any of the constants because frankly there will be nothing meaty to chew on here. But I do hope I’m proved wrong.
What do you think of reality shows as a form of campaign? Do you think the campaign will be successful? Share with us your thoughts in the comment section below.