The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Are You A Soundaholic???
December 15, 2006, 8:58 am
Filed under: Comment

So after far less time than anyone thought possible … including our producer … we have another bit of work for SONY Asia coming out, and this time it’s for one of the true icons of consumer technology, the Walkman.

Now despite tons of research all saying it was outdated and irrelevant – too associated with tape and CD players – our research found people of a ‘certain age’ regarded the brand with real warmth and soul.

OK, so some of you may think that’s a feeling you get when talking about an old jumper or a video game system … and to a certain extent you’d be right … however I always find that when a brand has soul and authenticity, you have a real foundation to build a relevant and powerful brand for modern times – probably best demonstrated by Mini, FCUK and ADIDAS. 

Sure, iPOD is the current God of portable music … and while they owe that mainly to design, navigation/simplicity and the brilliance of iTunes [for giving digital music  – a new format at the time – a legitimate forum to be accessed and played] they also owe a big thanks to Walkman for giving them the attributes of ‘Freedom and Individuality’ which they basically ‘stole’  for their iconic ‘silhouette’ campaign. [I know they stole it, I was one of the people who did some of the ‘stealing’, ha!]

Saying all that, iPOD has infiltrated popular culture more than almost any other single consumer electronic product of the last decade – and I include [none-office] PC’s in that statement. And while some argue iPOD still sells less than the Walkman player [but only if you include all the SONY Ericsson Walkman Phones being sold into the equation] it is the iPOD that has [almost] single handily changed the way the World consumes, creates and purchases music. 

What’s really interesting is that it seems less and less people are really ‘listening’ to music – more often or not, they simply ‘hear it’ [often because they use it as an accompaniment to life’] and if the track doesn’t make an impression on them within the first few bars, they simply ‘change song’.  This means bands are now writing songs specifically for the iPOD user – making sure they have a musical hook within the first few seconds because they know if they don’t – their chances of being listened to, are almost zero.  And then of course, there’s the small matter that iTunes / Internet has undermined the stronghold of the Record Industry – which on the positive side has resulted in musical freedom for many up and coming bands – and on the negative side – has meant musical freedom for many up and coming bands.  And all this still doesn’t take into account the way iPOD has changed the popularity of certain musical genres or the cottage industry of accessories it has inspired or the influencing of unrelated categories to start including iPOD-friendly components into their products [Hummer for example!]

I have immense respect for what Apple have done with iPOD … lets face it, it’s astounding but without doubt they were also helped by SONY who have done their very best over the years to destroy their wonderful brand through some of the most astoundingly brilliant abuse ever witnessed. However it seems SONY have finally realised what they have got with the Walkman brand and from what I’ve heard, they seem to finally want to do it justice again via new products, new thinking and new communication. [Lets hope it’s not just words eh!]

Anyway, while this ‘new attitude’ is being transferred into ‘action’ [fingers crossed], we have been asked to start seeding the Walkman brand back into the consciousness of today’s portable music loving crowd and to do that, we have developed a campaign based around the proposition [and product truth] of “Sound Is Sacred”.

Like with the Robots spot, I know an ad is not going to drastically change their fortunes … which is why I am working in areas such as product development, packaging, distribution etc … but until the really great products start surfacing next year [along with a campaign we’ve done that is fucking magic and exciting] this should help abit – especially as we’re not falling into the competitive trap of talking about ‘memory size’ and/or the fact you can listen to your favourite tracks wherever you are. [No Shit Sherlock]

Walkman might of lost its throne to iPOD … Walkman might have a long way to go to get it back … but if SONY are serious about taking back their seat, then I honestly believe [and I appreciate I may be mental thinking this] they can do it. Afterall, with Playstation they took on Nintendo and SEGA and won, so there are precedents set to show it can happen if they really want it to. I hope they do!

Anyway, hopefully you’ll see some of the tons of stuff we’re doing over the coming weeks/months – but until then, I hope you enjoy the ‘taster’ I’ve supplied, Ha!

40 Comments so far
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I just can’t understand how you get them to buy this sort of stuff. You’ve made me feel I’m a failure because I never got anything close to this or your Robot ad out when I worked in Asia and don’t forget I worked with Sony there too.

When is the other work coming out? What is the other work that is coming out?

If this is the stopgap work for Walkman, then I am really excited about what you guys will come out with next.

Congratulations mate, it’s a brilliant result, especially as it is for Sony and in Asia. At this rate, CP will think going to Asia is viable so watch out, you may have just opened the door to more competition.

This is going to fuck off Sony US more than anything. A pitch must be on the cards now.

Comment by Pete

ANd by doing this work for various divisions of Sony, you are ahead of Fallon and TBWA who only can do great work on one core product like Bravia and Playstation.

Shocked you managed to get this through and I love the prop, so true for Walkman and something the comp have ignored. I bet I know what this is building up to for the real relaunch though 🙂

Expect the calls to come in mate and well done again.

Comment by Pete

Thanks matey. Yeah, this is stop gap work but I have to admit, I am in shock it actually got made as well, ha!

Credit for this has to go to our wonderful, young creative Dino – especially as this is the first bit of ‘film’ he has ever done.

The other work is going to come out over the next few weeks – internet, print and some mental ‘ambient’ which is probably the most exciting part of it all. Will let you know as it happens …

You’re very kind, but I really don’t know if you can say we’re doing better than TBWA and Fallon with SONY … however for Asia standards [and as you said, SONY Asia] it’s definitely another small yet significant step in the right direction.

I really hope the campaign goes down well [especially internally] because the longer-term Walkman idea is a corker and I really want to see it happen. And yes, I bet you DO know what it is going to be, haha!

The best compliment though is that you think this could ‘fool’ CP into believing good work can continually happen in Asia. To be fair, it can – it’s just a long, tough road and it’s great to feel we’re finally getting some reward for our understanding, insight and perseverence.

Cheers mate – you’re a top bloke and maybe one day I can get some work out that isn’t just good for Asia, but good on a World scale.

Comment by Rob

This is good work full stop. The fact it is for Sony and from Asia makes it especially worthy.

And don’t give all the credit to your creative, your influence is all over it so take a bloody bow .

Comment by Pete

You should be happy I’m all restrained … you wanted to hit me when we did Mini.

Comment by Rob

I think its great from a planning point of view, and an ad point of view.

But most importantly, as me, as an ipod owning music (obsessed) consumer (with a whole room of music gear), it literally speaks to me. I recognise some of those soundaholic tendencies in me… and like the robot ad, it really starts to pick the Sony and Walkman brands back up from the deep pit theyve fallen into.

Great stuff.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Even though it is a stopgap campaign, I am glad you like and relate to it. Again, it’s a start – there’s a lot to do and a long way to go [and it involves a hell of a lot more than just ads!] but re-associating Walkman with great sound and more specifically, people who live for great sound/music [rather than simply ‘liking tunes’] is – I hope – a move in the right direction.

I guess my ultimate goal will be when people say the difference between like and love [of music] is Walkman! But that might not happen for quite a while yet, haha!

Fingers crossed – when the new products come out [with all the associated benefits] you’ll be able to see the quite wonderful campaign we have ready to go – and then you can tell me if [1] I am talking a load of bollocks and [2] whether you would consider buying a Walkman [admitidly one of the new Walkmans] as your next portable music player. [or … I add intriguingly … for some other reason associated with music! Cue: Evil Laugh!]

Hope the Wii is good!

Comment by Rob

Its brilliant for a stopgap.
Ipod has taken the mantle of the fashionable music player, but its success is down to the fact it took this as well as the “musicians music player” mantle at the same time.

If Walkman can take this latter category (which this ad talks to directly) then the renaissance will be well underway.

[1] You rarely do, and [2] If they are as good as they should be then I would consider them. The other problem is that because itunes is apple only, I would need to find another good download site… if Sony can get known as the player of choice for then that would help me (and lots of others) make the leap to non apple music products.

The Wii is brilliant. Better than even I expected. I even brought it to work today to show people as its that widely desired.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Trust me … SONY are under no illusion that to get back, they need to tackle the issue of iTunes as both a hub for the majority of digital music annnnnnd how do they get iTunes tracks easily transportable onto a Walkman player.

As an aside, I am involved in some product development areas for Walkman – which is so bloody exciting – and you can be sure some of the concepts are inclusive of music creation as well as playback! Better not say anymore or I’ll get shot, ha!

Comment by Rob

Sounds great to me, even if its only a tidbit there. As a muso/musician anything that enhances the creation process as such is worth looking at.

Just beware. If I see the words Atrac anywhere other than “Also supports…” I will run a mile!

Is it ironic that we were discussing the Nintendo Wii on a post praising new Sony ads?

Also… replied to your comment on architecture on my blog!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

ATRAC is a 5 letter word.

So is SHITE by pure coincidence.

And yes, talking Wii on a blog about SONY is weird – but then Nintendo have basically created a gaming system in the style [both design and communication] of ‘Apple’ so maybe it’s not that weird afterall, ha!

Comment by Rob

Annoying Totalitarian Restrictive Audio Control

Thank goodness someone helping their Dev knows that 🙂

Its very Apple, but it also stands up on its own merits stylewise. The functionality of the thing is unbelievable. Its so intuitive, and absolutely 100% Nintendo.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

If a Wii could stop you posting for a few days, it must be the greatest so you have just sold me one. Sort-of!!!

The Planners vs Creative battle will commence soon – well, as soon as someone shows Andy how to turn the machine on!

Comment by Rob

And there are some online games available!
Coming soon I am told…

It IS that good.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

If Santa doesn’t get me one – he’s getting the sack [boom tish!]

Comment by Rob

As a grumpy old lover of seperates systems i salute you. Very nice way to encourage reappraisal.

Comment by Northern Planner

It’s not going to make someone buy a Walkman [yet] but with a bit of luck, when the product and the other issues are sorted out, it might make Grumpy Old Lovers of Seperates think again when they’re after a portable player. I will use you as my official ‘test subject’ now!

Comment by Rob

Do I get a free Walkman?

Comment by Northern Planner

That’s the spirit – get on the gravy train, ha!

Comment by Rob

For a Bravia you can put me in a lab with bubbles the chimp for a week

Comment by Northern Planner

Wait till you see the new Bravia with a speaker that covers the screen when it’s off and then slowly glides underneath it when it’s on! It’s so sexy, you’d leave your missus for it – well, if you’re a weirdo you would! Have a great festive one mate – hope to see you in ’07

Comment by Rob

What is that song at the end where he listens in the toilet?

Comment by Harry

I am pretty sure we just created that track for the ads – let me check, though at this exact moment, all the guys are probably lying under a Christmas tree pissed out their minds. Hope you had a wonderful New Year mate …

Comment by Rob Campbell

hey mate, i REALLY need to know the song too i mean its bugging me for forever and i’ve searched the whole web (ar at least the links google and Yahoo! have and nada so if you know what the song is, PLEASE do tell! (: Mucho Gracias

Comment by Shannon

Hi Shannon …

The track is called “Down, Down, Down” by a guy/band called Rob Lord. Not sure if it ever got officially released but hope this helps.

Comment by Rob

hey rob,
thanks, now that i can put a name to the track i just gotta find it!! Yikes, another realy tough job. you’ve been a big help so THANK YOU 😀 really appreciate it 🙂

Comment by Shannon

Good luck …

Comment by Rob @ Cynic

I actually have a copy, you can find it on

go to: ‘get trax’
then ‘x series’ on the left
then ‘composers’
THEN scroll down to Rob Lord (first name first) and click, and enjoy.

You can’t save the song yourself however, it should go directly into your cache or whatever when it fully loads. That’s how I got it.

I found the name by calling up 20th Century Fox television to get to their marketing department and they actually took the time to look it up and call me back (on the other side of the country no less!)

Comment by Ryan

no wait…here’s the link:…h/xcd094_14.mp3

Comment by Ryan

Thanks Ryan … appreciate it.

Comment by Rob

hii the link does not seem to work anymore
i will like to get the song as well
can someone please help?
thanks in advance!!

Comment by miaomiao

Hi Guys …

Ryan can you help given you Sherlock Holmes skills found it in the first place.


Comment by Rob

If the link is out of order, I don’t know what to do. You should be able to find it in your internet cache but the first way to get the song is still correct by going to extrememusic and so on.

Comment by Ryan

yea i’ve tried signing up to download the file, but the password never came..
i have also tried finding it in my cache but i can’t seem to find the file anywhere..
does any one of you have the file? perhaps. if possible, one of you can help to upload it somewhere?

Comment by miaomiao

look rob! your very own soundaholics meeting on your blog comments!

Comment by lauren

Amazing – I should use it in the next ad.

Comment by Rob

hmmm… does anyone have the mp3 file?
help needed here please… D:

Comment by miaomiao

hey all,
actually i only need the 30 seconds mp3 clip of the song…
does anyone have the link to it?

Comment by miaomiao

Can anyone help MiaoMiao?

Comment by Rob

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