Y&R Captures High Anxiety in High-Def Sony

LOS ANGELES A 30-second spot for Sony Electronics’ CyberShot digital camera, which broke this week, shows singer Steven Tyler disrupting a restaurant via Sony’s high-definition technology, said Brian McDermott, creative director at WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam.

In the spot, directed by Dante Ariola through MJZ, Los Angeles, for the New York agency, young women lunching spot Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, leaving the restaurant. A flurry of activity ensues to find a camera. One woman spills a Bloody Mary on her white T-shirt, followed by water glasses, dishes, purses and cameras crashing to the floor. Only the woman with the Sony CyberShot is able to photograph the celebrity.

“We wanted to highlight the fact that the camera flips opens with a finger and doesn’t take a minute to boot up as some digital cameras do,” said McDermott, adding that the red drink stain was meant as a combat metaphor. “The way we used the slow motion, in both the picture and the sound, was suggesting a battle scene from a war film,” he said. Creative director Taras Wayner served as art director.

Last fall, Pat Wittingham, then-president of Sony Broadcast, Park Ridge, N.J., told Adweek sibling Shoot that Sony wanted all its commercials shot in high definition. Sony’s music division also strongly encouraged using HD in music videos. Neither the agency nor Sony Electronics’ San Diego division could confirm this policy.

“I think [Sony] likes high definition and wants us to support their equipment,” said McDermott, copywriter on the spot, about the HD mandate. He added that it was not a requirement for all shoots. “In certain situations where there is a technical limitation, you can break free [of HD].”