Ad of the Day: Sony Xperia

Giant frames embody the tablet's immersive experience in McCann's new single-take spot

We've written before about how technology marketers like to use conspicuously analog props in their advertising, to give the virtual experiences they're selling more of a tangible reality. Google is the best example of this. But Sony has been doing this quite nicely, as well—most notably in last spring's global stop-motion Xperia spot directed by Wes Anderson.

Now, McCann Worldgroup is back with another tactile, homemade effort for the Xperia tablet. The 60-second spot, called "Frames," is breaking now in global markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Shot all in one take by Partizan director Augustus Punch, it features a long camera pullback through what's clearly a warehouse, back through three giant tablet frames that function as stages for the action. The three frames represent the different experiences that the Xperia offers—surfing the Internet, playing games and watching videos. Actors perform little scenes in each one: A guy takes a photo of a dancer and posts it on Facebook; ninjas play a fruit-slashing game (Fruit Ninja is an actual game, it turns out); and most notably, a '60s astronaut saves a woman from a B-movie monster, as a glowing spaceship descends.

The spot certainly maintains the playful vibe of the Anderson ad, and if it's a bit less on the magical side, it likewise doesn't just relate but embodies the notion of technology meeting imagination. The downside of these kinds of spots is that the viewer first has to figure out what's going on, and then how the metaphor relates to the product. This two-step process is more work than a simple product demo would be—see Apple's early iPhone and iPad work for tech advertising that's heavily skewed toward the latter. But there's a richness in the homemade approach that holds up on repeat viewings, and there's something to be said for somewhat more theatrical ad treatments in the tech space.

The tagline casts the Xperia as "a place for your imagination to play." It's a product that lets the agency play, too.

CREDITS

Client: Sony Xperia

Spot: "Frames"

Agency: McCann Worldgroup

Co-Chief Creative Officers: Tom Murphy, Sean Bryan

Vice President, Group Creative Director: Mat Bisher

Vice President, Senior Art Director: Vi Luong 

Associate Creative Director: Colin Ilsley

Senior Broadcast Producer: Minnie Tran

Vice President, Senior Art Producer: Wendy Leahy

Business Manager: Ken Krausgill

Vice President, Business Partner: Lauren LaValle

Account Supervisor: Michael Tsang

Film:

Production Company: Partizan

Director: Augustus Punch

Editing: Fluid

Visual Effects: Framestore

Senior Vice President, Executive Music Producer: Peter Gannon

Music: Kishi Bashi

Sound Design: Joseph Fraioli

Sound Mix: David Wolfe

Editor: John Piccolo

Visual Effects Artist: Tom Leckie

Print:

Photographer: Hugh Kretschmer

Retouching: Gloss Postproduction