I should have been in Miami today. A few weeks ago, I got approached by (one of?) the Sony PR agency, from whom I’d got stuff before, about a trip to Miami to watch Fallon shooting of the new Sony ad Foam City, for the Digital Imaging range and also get a chance to play with some new cameras they are introducing from the Alpha, Cybershot and Handycam ranges.
But things did not run entirely smoothly. First up, I was at SXSW until Tuesday, so they were going to have to fly me from Austin to Miami and then onto London which required discussion. Then they cut the numbers, then at the last minute they changed the dates to those of SXSW. The last change meant I could not go at all, missing my favourite conference, where i was speaking was not an option. I have mixed reactions about all of this, so here they are:
- Being asked to go in the first place was a wonderful boost. I’ve written about some of the Sony stuff a lot in the past, but not all of it complimentary. It would have been great to get the real behind the scenes story of putting the ad together. Sony reaching out to bloggers, something they have been doing more and more over the last year,(see Ewan talking about a game campaign) is indicative of a change of attitude from previous attempts to do it all themselves.
- The change of numbers and delays in response were annoying – ask Andy. If you are going to ask someone to go on a trip to blog about you, then be sure you can do what you are asking. Budget changes after the invites have gone out are bad form. My contact at the PR agency did a grand job of keeping me up to date, but having been on the other side of the story, it must have been really frustrating to have to change things.
- The final change of dates was due to changes beyond the brand or agency control, apparently filling streets with foam means the police get to change dates ;)
- I’m reading reports now and it looks like they had a successful event during the shooting. Photography Bay has a great report, detailing the fact they had over 200 locals with cameras taking shots during the foaming as well, and there are others here, here and here.
They also twittered the event:
Am looking down a street completely full of foam. Nuts! 02:36 PM March 09, 2008 from txt
We’re making 2.5 million litres of foam a minute 02:39 PM March 09, 2008 from txt
Italian journalist on his knees hunting for his glasses in a metre of foam shouldn’t be funny (but really is) 04:20 PM March 09, 2008 from txt
the ad is going to look truly breathtaking. Yes, I do work for sony, granted. But seeing fifteen journalists and bloggers playing in it 06:52 PM March 09, 2008 from web
with the biggest smiles, was just so cool! i want to go back! 06:52 PM March 09,
the clean up operation takes a bit of time! All the foam is totally biodegradable and non toxic, so people can play as much as they want 05:29 PM March 10, 2008
Although they did fail in one of the key benefits of Twitter which would have been to follow people and find out what they wanted to know during the shoot, which would have increased engagement.
Now I’m expecting some pictures to come through at some point, behind the scenes at the shoot. Meanwhile, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I get asked again sometime.