Shortlisted 2020

Technology and Telecoms



Entered by:

Vizeum & 360i, Dentsu Group


ACAST, Amazon, WeTransfer, Anomaly

Brilliant Sound At Intersections Of Culture And Cool

The Challenge

Founded in 2002, Sonos was an early innovator and pioneer in connected smart speakers. Since then the smart speaker industry has expanded rapidly over the last few years (+55 .4% YoY).

More recently, Amazon and Google have moved into the market and stolen share. The result has been declining brand awareness for Sonos as they are out-spent by these giants.

So how can Sonos stand out and not be out-shouted by the competition? Research showed that consumers consistently rate sound quality as their top deciding factor when purchasing a smart speaker and Sonos have always focused on ensuring their products are technically superior and deliver a greater sound quality.

Our challenge was to cut through the noise of the competition and bring this message to life for an audience that may never have even heard of them before. The result was the marketing platform : Sonos brings you Brilliant Sound showing how Sonos offered people quality sound no matter their interests.

The Creative Solution

Our core target audience – affluent Adults 25-65 – often feel bombarded by advertising and see it as intrusive, so we wanted to bring our marketing to life in environments that could link to our brand’s value and spaces where we could stand out.

Our media approach brought to life Sonos’ market-leading sound quality in environments and cultural moments that our consumers couldn’t miss – and wouldn’t want to!

We did this by aiming to directly link the core moments when our audience seek quality sound – primarily in arts, music and culture – and where we have an opportunity to make an impact.

Our core strategic focus summed up as: Deliver premium sound messaging through iconic placements in environments where music and culture meet. We distilled this strategic approach into three supporting pillars:

  • Impact – Deliver visual impact (iconic and large, unmissable formats)
  • Proximity- Being in proximity to sound and music
  • Culture – Being in cultural environments our audience have focus and affinity for

We also linked to the creative message that generated relevance and visual interest by featuring up coming and iconic album art from popular artists  including Solange Knowles, Radiohead, Frank Ocean, Robyn, Outkast, and many more. This creative was aligned to different contexts, locations and audiences to ensure the creative and media delivery was as personalised and relevant as possible.

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

Channel selection and media approach were linked back to the three strategic pillars while also driving awareness for Sonos:

IMPACT – OOH was used to deliver visual impact, in iconic placements like Opera station in Paris, Hamburg docks. And striking dominations and takeovers where used in key city areas of Copenhagen, Zurich, Berlin , Munich, London, Sydney, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Montreal, Toronto.

Premium  double-page  and 3-page consecutive  print ads drove striking impact in key magazines  that our audience have an affinity  for.

PROXIMITY – We also used OOH to be proximate to key sound moments – with a takeover at Barbican station in London during an exhibit on smart technology and the senses (including the sound), and billboards surrounding the major music complex Philharmonie in Paris.

Due to licensing and cost, TV advertising was out of reach for Sonos, but we were able to create a bespoke “Brilliant Sound hub” on Amazon Prime to bring select films with quality sound to Prime viewers, bringing Sonos into premium sound environments on big screen while providing value to consumers (heavily discounted films with great sound).

CULTURE – To continue our link to sound and music, we partnered with popular podcast hosts, specifically those who were Sonos fans, to give authentic testimonials to their audiences about the quality sound of Sonos products. This stimulated authentic word of mouth and drive recommendation.

And we built bespoke, striking creative for premium environments in display and social – rich social stories, large takeovers and skins featuring popular music album art ran across targeted environments our audience frequently visit online.

The Result

Overall the Brilliant Sound campaign was a resounding success. The Sonos marketing team commented: “Our agency team did an excellent job of translating our brief into a campaign that struck the right balance between reach and impact. The way our creative came to life in media was clear and powerful with a good mixture of niche targeting and more scalable cut through in some great locations, publications, podcasts and digital platforms .”

Sonos’ shift to focus their marketing to the brand’s core of delivering brilliant sound contributed to a record increase in revenue growth (+25% YoY), and now over 9 million homes around the world are using Sonos products .

Individual brand lift studies show the different contribution of channels to the overall campaign:

Our podcast partnerships showed a fivefold lift in unaided awareness (+16.2% control vs exposed) and the strong contextual link helped drive a 19% uplift in consumers’ association of Sonos with superior sound quality.

Our premium display activity and takeovers nearly tripled unaided awareness (+30.2% control vs exposed), and there was very clear take out of our key message with 61% of respondents rated Sonos sound quality as high to very high.

In the US our focused and impactful OOH activity drove an 82% increase in aided awareness .

Finally, our “Brilliant Sound Hub” on Amazon Prime increased consumer searches for Sonos products on Amazon, with over 40% of Prime users clicked to view the hub, and over 84% of users viewing the 15″ video about Sonos housed within the hub.

Based on the success of the initial campaign, Sonos has extended the Brilliant Sound campaign to become a long term strategy and creative approach for the brand, which we will use to continue to expand awareness for Sonos.