Sony’s $110 Mil. Diamond Plan: Demos, Not Product

NEW YORK — Sony is taking a marketing detour from its product focus and dividing its target audience into six demographic groups in an initiative called the Diamond Plan. As part of that effort, three spots featuring fictional family the Louises break this week via Young & Rubicam, New York.

The Diamond Plan is backed by $110 million in spending, of which a third will be directed at families. The budget for the current effort was undetermined.

“It’s a fundamental shift internally, as well as the way we go to market. It has us focusing on how we are going to speak to that consumer — not just according to the product line, but what’s important to them,” said Tim Baxter, svp/visual networks product unit in charge of the family segment for the Park Ridge, N.J.-based client.

In addition to Mom and Dad, the family includes Jill, who is ready to go off to college; 14-year-old Matt; Isabel, 8; and Uncle Hank, who provides comic relief. The tagline: “Contemporary togetherness.”

“Anniversary” shows Dad and Matt creating a gift for Mom: Handycam-shot footage of family moments burned onto a DVD using a Sony Vaio computer. They later watch the footage on Sony’s DVD Dream System.

“Paris” has Mom and Dad throwing a party for the neighbors. When Dad runs into technical difficulties, he calls over Matt, who’s sitting in the driveway with his siblings, watching a Sony in-car DVD. Matt explains how easy it is to use a Memory Stick, Sony’s storage device.

In the third spot, Dad uses his CD Mavica digital camera and Vaio to e-mail a shot of himself with his full head of hair to his balding brother on his birthday.

The spots will run until January.

The Diamond Plan targets six segments: the affluent alphas (early adopters), Gen Y (under 25), young professionals (dual income, no kids), families and 50-plus empty nesters.