Lang Lang

A Sony Christmas Carol

Sony UK is about to launch its biggest ever tactical campaign to support its new initiative to offer customers ‘VAT Back’ across its product range in a move to help the nation save money on Christmas presents such as compact cameras, e-Readers and Blu-ray players, as well as larger purchases ahead of the forthcoming UK VAT rise in January.
The campaign was developed with retail marketing agency, Crayon London, after extensive consumer testing revealed that the VAT rise is a major concern for consumers, especially during Peak.
Sony appointed the creative agency, True Worldwide, to bring this promotion to life in a way that truly engages the audience during this festive period. The advertising campaign, which airs on Thursday 28 October, promotes the ‘VAT-back’ initiative, featuring actor Sir Derek Jacobi as Ebenezer Scrooge in a modern day portrayal of the Christmas classic ‘A Christmas Carol.’
The advert opens with a bedraggled Scrooge alone in a gloomy London flat on Christmas Eve. He reads a newspaper headline and voices the message aloud ‘V.A.T back…Sony…ends Christmas Eve,’ which transforms him from the well known cold Scrooge character to a new warm man full of the joys of Christmas and inspires him to purchase a wealth of Sony gifts for his friends and family.
An extended 2 minute launch slot for the advert has been secured during the hugely popular ‘X Factor’ on 30 October at 21:15, which is estimated to reach a peak of 13m viewers. In addition, three 20 second versions of the advert have been created for release in November. These promote the scheme in Sony Centres only and focus on three specific products – 3DTV, VAIO and the Sony NEX camera. The adverts will be on air until 20 December.
Matt Coombe, General Manager of Brand and Consumer Marketing, Sony UK, said “As an entertainment company it’s important for us to engage with our customers in everything we create, including our advertising. Our latest campaign combines an innovative concept with creative scripting, which I believe the audience will not only enjoy watching but will also greatly appreciate at this financially challenging time of year.
“The score for the advert was specially created by leading young film composer Ilan Eshkeri, whose scores include Stardust, Kick-Ass and The Young Victoria, and features the piano playing of Lang Lang, one of the world's greatest pianists and most inspirational musicians. It was supported by a 35 piece orchestra and recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studios”.
Sony Music artist Lang Lang said "Recording the music for this advert was hugely enjoyable, Ilan's score perfectly complements each part of the storyline, and the uplifting ending is a great moment. So much is communicated in the two minutes that you almost feel as though you have watched an entire movie!”
Award-winning director Jonas Åkerlund produced the advert, best known for his work on a wide variety of music videos for high profile artists, such as Madonna’s ‘Ray of Light’ and more recently, Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’.
Digital agency DARE has created a dedicated online hub for this initiative – - which will launch officially on 28 October, sharing with consumers all supporting information such as which products are included in the promotion, where to find their nearest store and how to claim their VAT back. This will be supported by social media activity via popular sites such as Facebook and YouTube.
The campaign – a first for a consumer electronics company in the UK – will run until Christmas Eve and feature a wide range of high street retailers such as John Lewis, Tesco Extra, M&S Home, Jessops, PC World, Amazon, Comet, Currys and Argos, as well as independent outlets and Sony Centres.
The TV activity is part of an integrated campaign including press and online, planned and bought by OMDUK. The print advertising will feature the exact same newspaper advert that Scrooge reads in the TV commercial. In-store activation has been handled by creative agency Crayon London.
For more information on the scheme go to from 28 October.