On October 19, 2006 the Sony Corporation presented the world with their marketing campaign for the Sony Cybershot, a new digital camera. In the advertisement you see Michelle Wie, an up and coming Asian female golfer, sitting in a cross legged Zen like position on a golf green with a golf ball in one hand and a Cybershot camera in the other. Behind her is a sunray made of golf clubs, and there are hues of oranges and golds and reds that make up the color palate for this advertisement. Below her is a description of the camera. Michelle Wie is known for making extraordinary shots, and now for taking them. Inspiration for a seventeen-year-old golf phenom can be found anywhere from the golf course to the beach.
That’s why Michelle pockets her Sony Cyber-shot DSC-120 camera anytime she and her friends get together. Using features like Super SteadyShot optical image stabilization she can capture clear, crisp pictures, even in low-light situations. So she keeps the mood without a blast from her flash. Perfect for a pro used to getting the shot she wants. Turn on inspiration. Turn off blur. (Sony, 2006) In the following analytical essay I will be presenting my analysis of the Sony Cybershot advertisement and explanation of the persuasive techniques used that are found in Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, and discuss the audience intended for this advertisement. The intent of this essay is to show that the Sony Corporation used the persuasive techniques of Likeability, Authority, and Social Proof in their ad campaign for the Sony Cybershot digital camera in the hopes of getting the Asian demographic to purchase the camera and how successfully they used these techniques.
The audience intended for this product is found in the young, female, active and Asian demographics. Sony has Michelle Wie as the spokes model for their product, and she fits all the previously mentioned descriptors of what is perceived to be the targeted demographic. While that is not the only customer Sony sees for its product, the digital camera, it is clear to the consumer that this particular product is best for those who are young, active and can find the most use out of what the product offers.
Likeability is, at first glance, the most noticeable and notable of the persuasive techniques. This technique is reliant upon one person liking another. Simply put, consumers are more likely to purchase from someone they know, trust and like. More importantly, someone they feel they know, like and trust. You could infer that likeability is similar to being able to relate. If I, as Jane Consumer, feel that I know or relate to the person they are using to sell me a particular product then I am more inclined to purchase that product.
If I am a young, active, teenaged girl obsessed with having a new Facebook picture everyday then I am going to be inclined to beg mommy and daddy for the camera that has the cute girl in the picture and tells me that it will stabilize my bubbly bouncy friends in a photo. The Sony Corporation uses this technique very well in that they picked the perfect girl as their spokes model. Michelle is cute, young, athletic, and at the time was a rising star in the golf world and very well known internationally. Due to the fact that people liked her, Sony saw her as a wonderful marketing strategy.
Authority comes in secondly as a persuasive technique that the Sony Corporation uses. Simply put, Sony is one of the leading forms of authority when it comes to all things technological. The technique of authority relies on the consumer seeing the Sony Corporation as an authority on all things technological. As is very well known, Sony has its hand in all areas of technology from computers to televisions to cameras. Consumers the world over know that if the Sony Corporation is offering a new product, with advanced features that are plausibly usable in everyday life, they will want to purchase the product.
Sony clearly excelled at using this strategy as they are one of the largest technological corporations in the world and their development of new technology rivals that only of the Apple Corporation. Social Proof is the final persuasive technique used in this ad campaign and is centered on someone else telling you to buy the product. Now Sony does this well by having someone so popular supporting their product. Consumers would then start to think that if they buy this camera they can be as cool as Michelle Wie.
Also, Sony’s name comes with a certain amount of peer pressure behind it urging consumers to go out and spend their well eared dollars on some new camera they probably use five times a year. Sony did remarkably well with this persuasive strategy as just their name alone is enough to cause their fan base to want to go purchase the products. In conclusion there are many persuasive techniques used in this ad. Sony Corporation utilized likeability, authority and social proof to garner interest in their product and to encourage their multiple demographics to go and purchase the new Cybershot Camera.
However while Sony did succeed with their ad campaign and marketing strategies I think they would have done better to make their ad more widely appealing. This is an ad that can be seen as only marketing to a distinct demographic that I mentioned earlier when I described the audience. All in all the Sony Corporation has an intelligent and creative marketing team and a great product.
Sony Cybershot DSC-T10 (2006, October 19). Rolling Stone. [Advertisment]. Cialdini,R. , (2007). Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. 3rd ed. United States of America: Harper Collins