IQ News: Pay Station – Sony Touts New Credit Card Online




IXL, New York, has launched a site to support Sony’s new Sony Card credit card (Visa/MasterCard), which allows customers to collect points redeemable for Sony merchandise with every purchase.
Jeffrey Dorn, senior vice president of the Sony Card business division in Park Ridge, N.J., said the card is geared toward men and women 25 to 49 who earn incomes of at least $50,000 and “have a high enthusiasm for both electronics and entertainment.”
The site, located at www.sony.com/sonycard, provides information about the card, which is co-branded with Citibank, as well as an online card application and commerce area for Sony products. The site’s most interesting feature may be its “story log” which uses online storytelling to tell visitors about the bonuses of the card. The story log includes a narrative appealing to a young, professional demographic, or the Ally McBeal and Friends set, said Ian Kerner, director of iXL’s strategic solutions group. Despite using TV shows to describe the card’s demographic, Kerner noted that the Internet is central to its marketing plan. “I think it’s clear that the Sony Card is really embracing the medium.”
In the current story, a man leaves his cellular phone in a taxi, and a female tourist snaps some photos of the cab’s license plate. As the duo frolick through New York tracking down the phone, users can click on Sony products placed throughout the couple’s travels for purchase information using the card. Items also can be redeemed with Sony points.
Jack Templin, lead strategist of iXL’s strategic solutions group, said the site eventually will include a suite of tools that can guide users with Sony Cards through search and recommendation sections. “This is a card that’s both a traditional credit card and also very intelligent about navigating cyberspace and e-commerce,” he said.
Sony is also running a direct response campaign in traditional media created by Young & Rubicam Direct, New York. The online campaign, Dorn added, is integral to the marketing. “We hope the Internet is going to be a very, very rich and active channel for us,” he said.
Links to the card site and its application will be on Sony’s other sites, including those for its music, Playstation gaming system and other merchandise. “It’s bringing together all of the Sony entities,” Dorn said.