The Bravia is a Sony brand of high-definition liquid crystal display, or LCD, TVs introduced in 2005. In introducing Bravia to the market, Sony launched an extraordinary advertising campaign featuring TV spots such as "Balls," "Paint," "Play-Doh" and "Pyramid." Each ad was designed to get the reader to think of the visual world as made up of pixels of color, and of the combination of those pixels as the key to pleasurable viewing.

The Problem

The enduring problem with a TV advertisement for a TV set is that you cannot really show the superiority of the images it generates. After all, the image the viewer receives is the image conveyed to her by the set she already has, not the one you want to sell her. You can try to create the illusion that you are showing her a superior set within her screen, but years of TV viewing has rendered viewers inured to that particular illusion.


One of the remarkable features of the Sony Bravia ads was the consistently excellent music that accompanied the images. Sony didn't achieve this by hiring already established artists or licensing well-known hits. To the contrary, for "Balls," an ad that featured a quarter million colorful balls rolling along the famously hilly streets of San Francisco, Sony used the song "Heartbeats" by Argentinian folk singer Jose Gonzalez. It didn't become a hit for Gonzalez until after the ad aired.


Sony's ads broke down the ideas of definition and color in an imaginative way. In the "Play-Doh" ad, for example, 200 small bunnies of various colors appear on the streets of New York. They appear to propagate -- though asexually -- and march down the street through stop-motion animation. At the end, they merge into one giant bunny, thus suggesting how small dots may form a life-like image, all while associating the TV in the mind of the public with childhood innocence and fun.

Separate German Campaign

There was a distinct campaign to introduce the Sony to Germany, featuring the German soccer player Michael Ballack. These ads targeted the young working class men who make up the core soccer audience, whereas the international ad campaign was aiming higher on the socio-economic scale, attracting an older audience.

Product Design

There are some elements of product design, too, that distinguish Sony's Bravia from other TVs and thus segment the market, such as its energy saving switch, its Web-browsing capability and even something as simple as a six-degree tilt which affects how a consumer positions the TV in his home.