The Sony PROduction Awards for Videographers
How to engage a niche target audience

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To positively engage with a target customer base of Videographers & Students, Sony Professional created a campaign that provided customers with an inspirational tool that spoke to them individually; the platform to be discovered & acclaimed. The Sony PROduction Awards launched in February 2013 & allowed professional & student filmmakers to enter submissions (under 5 minutes in length) into a selection of 4 x different categories. With a high profile judging committee & the chance to win one of 4 x latest Sony camcorders as a prize, the competition was widely celebrated by both current & new customers.

Sony Professional set themselves a number of objectives for this campaign; acquire over 1000 relevant registrations from professionals & students, positively engage with both new & old customers & obtain over 75% competitor buying data for total submissions. At the time of writing (10th April), Sony Professional has had over 340 entry submissions, 1774 relevant registrations & over 95% competitor buying data for total submissions. The split of registrations between old & new customers is also very encouraging with early indications suggesting Sony Professional has acquired over 750 new registrations. Total unique web visitors topped 30k.

Creating an online film entry awards competition is not a particularly innovative concept however for the manufacturer of a camcorder product to hold one – where entries shot on competitor models are allowed – is unique. Sony Professional recognised that to acquire new customers that they weren’t already talking to, they needed to give those customers an incentive to engage with Sony Professional. The Sony PROduction Awards is that incentive. The decision is potentially a brave one as the open forum nature of the entries (i.e. an entry shot on a competitor product winning) needs to be managed very closely.[/one_half_last]

From research, observation & feedback that came from general conversations with customers, it was clear there were two key factors that would successfully drive the Sony PROduction Awards; that filmmakers loved creating content & that filmmakers wanted & needed recognition of their work. Another aspect that was covered off was to learn from how other similar online film competitions were going wrong. Sony Professional enlisted the help of a seasoned filmmaker & director at discussion & planning stage – to ensure the same mistakes were not replicated. As a result, a number of positive changes were made to the format.

The Sony PROduction Awards has been run in previous years but not in the same format. They were smaller & dedicated to showcasing the merit of an individual Sony camcorder. In 2013, initial inspiration came from the awareness that the Videographer industry had more focus on the creativity of the filmmaker rather than of a particular camcorder than ever before. It was a theme being discussed & shared by many influential industry profiles so seemed the appropriate time to capitalise on.[/one_half_last]

The Speaker

Dan Robb, European B2B Marketing Manager, Sony Europe

An award-winning (‘M&M Global Marketing Awards’) marketing communications manager with extensive experience in planning & executing campaigns in Media, Broadcast & B2B across UK (& Ireland) & Europe. Comfortable presenting to senior management & with managing a variety of agencies. Creative with a keen eye for analytical detail to justify actions. Delivers with conviction.
Selected for Marketing Magazine’s ‘Power 100: Nxt Generation’ for 2013.