Sony Bows PC, Forms Vaio Center

Sony’s Information Technologies division is launching its new Digital Studio personal computer later this month with a print ad from Citron Haligman Bedecarrƒ. The move comes as Sony prepares to combine the marketing for its computers and audio-visual products.
The Vaio Digital Studio PC comes with multimedia devices and Sony software that allow users to edit their own home videos, said Sony officials. It is expected to retail for about $2,300.
The work by San Francisco-based Citron will run in The Wall Street Journal and in technology lifestyle magazines such as Wired, Yahoo and Family PC. The ad takes the form of a movie poster touting the product’s video editing features. Copy states, “Your movie. … Directed by you. Written by you. … Ask yourself for the showtimes.” It will be supported by a multipronged marketing effort, including direct response and a Web site, said Carol Byram, director of marketing communications.
Separately, Tokyo-based Sony Corp. last week announced the formation of the Vaio Marketing Center, a global initiative to promote the integration of Sony computer and audio-visual products.
The move comes on the heels of the appointment of Young & Rubicam, New York, as Sony Electronics’ integrated marketing agency in the U.S. [Adweek, Oct. 5]. The agency, which already handles a global branding assignment for Sony, is likely positioning itself to take over Citron’s $10-15 million Sony PC account, sources said. “It is too early to tell what the impact from the new Y&R partnership will be on other Sony divisions,” said Byram. “Marketing for the PC products is well under way.”
This month Citron also unveils a new ad for Sony’s 505 notebook computer, said a Sony representative. The ad, comparing the computer to the Porsche 996, will run in major business magazines. –with Tobi Elkin