Sony Casts Athletes for Holidays

NEW YORK Pro golfer Michelle Wie and NFL quarterback Peyton Manning will debut in Sony ads in the fourth quarter, according to the consumer electronics giant.

Wie will appear in holiday-themed efforts for Sony’s Bravia, Vaio, Walkman, digital still cameras and its new Mylo wireless broadband communications device.

One series of print ads shows the athlete taking a cookie sheet out of the oven. Instead of cookies, the sheet holds cameras. Wie signed a five-year deal with Sony last year.

Exceptional gift giving is the overall theme of the campaign.

“You can give a gift or you can give a Sony,” said Stuart Redsun, svp, corporate marketing, who joined the company a month ago. The marketing vet has worked at Nike, Motorola, Gateway and, most recently, Helio, a manufacturer of handheld communications devices.

Indianapolis Colts QB Manning will tout the Bravia flat-screen HDTV line via a series of choose-your-own-ending commercials that will cater to TiVo users and the like. Its SXRD line will be supported via a Nascar spot that leverages its current “Low def” campaign. The “like.no.other” tagline continues. A variety of agencies handle the account.

Ads for the new Mylo messaging device will target teens and students with viral clips starring thumb puppets that behave like sorority girls. One says: “Get off your cell phone and concentrate on your cellulite because you’re grossing us out . . . I just vomited a little in my mouth.”

Sony spent $145 million in measured media for its consumer electronics division last year, half of which was doled out in the fourth quarter, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Sony would not discuss upcoming ad expenditures, but Michael Fasulo, the company’s North American CMO, called this year’s holiday spend “significant.”

The client’s domestic agency roster includes Havas’ McKinney in Durham, N.C.; independent Bagby & Co. in Chicago; and Digitas’ Modem Media in San Francisco. Interpublic Group’s Universal McCann in New York handles media buying.