Sony returns to TV with camera campaign after blowing up giant mirror in Namibian desert

Sony will tomorrow broadcast its first Australian TV ads for two years as part of an integrated campaign by Havas Worldwide Sydney to promote its range of mirrorless cameras.

The ads were shot in the Namibian desert – after Adelaide and New Zealand were ruled out for being too wet – and feature a huge mirror being shattered.

Sony Australia and NZ head of marketing communications Sam Williams told Mumbrella two thirds of the campaign’s media spend has been slated for TV which he insisted remained the best mass market channel for the brand.

“Every medium has its place, but we feel the mirrorless camera is a mainstream product and the media buy was based on the 18 to 49 demographic,” he said.

“We wouldn’t go to TV for anything that was targeted towards the youth or older market, but everyone understands photography and everyone wants to be a better photographer, so TV is the right fit.”

The TV slots, to run for six weeks on Seven, Ten, Eleven and subscription channels, will be supported by digital and retail executions that will run for an additional two months.

A micro site has also been created containing behind the scenes footage of the film shoot and an explanation of the mirrorless technology which Sony said makes the camera lighter, smaller and faster.

The need to produce “something epic” also lent itself to television, Williams said.

The ad, cut into 15, 30 and 60 second versions, shows a giant mirror shattering in slow motion against the backdrop of a desert landscape.

Williams told Mumbrella: “The creative came from a product proof. We have removed a mirror from the camera so it was a product-centric brief from that perspective.

“It needed to draw attention to the mirrorless technology and what better way than to take a mirror into the desert and dramatically blow it up. We wanted it to be impactful but in a simple, effective way.”

He added that Sony has set a “very high benchmark with that sort of ad”, referring to the 2010 Bravia bouncy balls campaign for Bravia TVs.

Explaining the need to travel half way round world to shoot the Australian commercial, Williams told Mumbrella producers were seeking an “otherworldly location that stood out from everything else you see on TV”.

“We looked at New Zealand and Adelaide where we shot our last Australian TV commercial for the 4K TV but Namibia had the least rain days which was a huge positive. But more than anything it was a completely different landscape,” he said.

While the ad was produced specifically for the Australian markets, other regions may run with the ad, Williams added.

In addition to TV, retail in particular will play a “hugely important” part in the campaign, he said.

The marketer revealed that the who travelled to Namibia bought a Makalani doll from a local tribe to protect against the bad luck which can come from smashing mirrors.

Steve Jones


Creative agency: Havas Worldwide Sydney

Executive creative director: Tim Green

Creative directors: Seamus Higgins & Stuart Turner

Group account director: Brent Kerby

Senior account director: Steve Osaer

Account manager: Lawrence Pretty

Head of design: Darren Cole

Creative services: Warrick Nicholson, Chris Hulsman

Head of broadcast: Monique Pardavi

Production company: The Sweet Shop

Director: Noah Marshall

Producer: Tony Whyman

Executive producer: Edward Pontifex

Managing director: Wilf Sweetland

DOP: Jamie Ramsey

SPFX: Max Poolman

Editor & company: Tim Mauger, The Butchery

Post production: Beryl, Auckland

Original soundtrack: Elliott Wheeler, Turning Studios

Sound design: Abby Sie, SongZu

Media agency: OmnicomMediaGroup

Public relations: Hausmann Communications


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.