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Sony and Atomic PR launch Sony Tablet S

With Apple, Samsung, Motorola, RIM and HP already competing in the tablet race, Atomic’s job was to help launch the new Sony Tablet into a crowded and quickly commoditizing marketplace - engaging and exciting consumers, while generating strong, positive coverage from technology, business and consumer press and bloggers.

ComContext™ analysis fostered a number of key insights and helped Atomic build a strategic, well-informed plan; focusing messaging on Sony’s own historical design prowess, the unique and differentiated design attributes of the Tablet S, and its connection to Sony’s content ecosystem. Top tier media fell into two distinct camps - those who producing negative coverage of almost any Android Honeycomb tablet (avoid), and those who seemed to see Android tablets as a viable alternative to Apple’s marketplace dominance (engage). We also observed that competitors were timing large numbers of reviews to hit on or near product announcement dates, which flooded the media with mostly positive coverage when product excitement should be highest.

Sony and Atomic organized and pitched a series of announcements, roundtables and briefings, and seeded early (pre-announcement) product with high-priority targets, to unfold the tablet story in the media, and drive sub-spikes of coverage leading up to the launch. Atomic organized a regional Tablet tour in San Francisco and New York to give reporters and key bloggers the opportunity to experience the Tablet firsthand and to speak with product managers directly. Sony and Atomic also took the Tablet directly to consumers and influencers with the #CatchTheTablet social media program (see separate post.)

The Sony Tablet launch was covered in 1,201 articles, generating nearly 1 billion impressions since the August 31 announcement. Many top tier outlets covered the launch, all communicating the product’s unique and differentiating qualities effectively. For example, according to WIRED’s Michael Calore, “Sony has taken a chance by eschewing the simple slate and going with a more humanizing shape. It’s new and unusual, but yet familiar to anyone who’s read a magazine at the beach. An admirable choice.” A large number stories also carried content about Sony’s design prowess and content universe as positives when compared to Apple and Apple’s me-too competitors. Atomic’s #CatchTheTablet social media campaign was considered by The Next Web to be the most successful social media promotion in SEL history, and a number of other trade press covered the launch.

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