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Old 04-23-2007, 06:07 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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New Sony Reader Ads: "Fit 80 books in your carry-on"

Last week, my boss approached me with an ad that he stumbled on in the May's print edition of The Atlantic. What's remarkable about the ad is that it worked to make him (an avid reader) aware of the Sony Reader for the first time. What's less remarkable, at least in my inexperienced opinion about marketing, is that Sony picked an EMPTY gate seating area suggesting no one is actually using the Reader (which is hardly what they must have had in mind). Sure, the passengers could have boarded the aircraft already, but then, why depict the empty seats? I just don't get it.

If I was in charge of marketing, I would pick authentic Reader fans from MobileRead and run a series of ads featuring real life scenes, such as this one by MobileReader LaughingVulcan.

A hi-res image of the ad is attached to this thread.
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:22 AM   #2
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LaughingVulcan should clean up his room. :-)
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
Sony picked an EMPTY gate seating area

I guess Sony didn't want to distract people from the small, yet commanding sign of the figure reading a Reader? No marketing experience here either, I'm afraid.
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:13 AM   #4
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What do they mean when they talk about people checking books at the gate?
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:15 AM   #5
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David/Teleread points out that the same ad appeared in this Sunday's Washington Post book supplement. And I've received word that it also appeared in last Friday's USA Today.
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:57 AM   #6
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Smile

I like the photo of the airport.. if it was full of people it would look cluttered and uncomfortable, and it would be harder to imagine taking a seat and having a read.

I've been to plenty of airports that have empty rows of seats just a little away from the main throng, they're much more pleasant than being among impatient kids etc.

So from that perspective I reckon it's a good advert. A chilled out opportunity to read books
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:59 AM   #7
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I second that. To me, the ad expresses tranquility and comfort.
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Old 04-23-2007, 09:01 AM   #8
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Saw this ad on the back cover of the New Yorker around January.
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Old 04-23-2007, 10:03 AM   #9
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The error is the sign. It definitely shows a person reading a paper book.
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Old 04-23-2007, 10:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Marquard
The error is the sign. It definitely shows a person reading a paper book.
Isn't that the whole point of the Ad? That the seats reserved for reading paper books are all empty, because everyone is now using a Reader?

If you look at the ad closely, the sign is clearly added in to it - the shadow is wrong compared with the shadow of the seats.
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Old 04-23-2007, 10:21 AM   #11
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Well, Alex, my impression was it looked like a library, and indicated spaciousness (like traveling light by not carrying a bunch of books).

But now that you've pointed that out, I think it ruined the ad for me - as you said, something does seem to not quite fit.

For one, normally there is so much talking and phone calling going on at the terminal that it can even be hard for me to watch a video with earphones while I wait. Most of my reading is on the plane itself.

For another thing, like you pointed out, it gives me the feel like it's a future tech device that nobody wants to try. It would be nice if there were people waiting, maybe even struggling to hold their book and luggage, and away from the main crowd was a cool dude and his wife traveling light, reading comfortably in peace, each with a Sony Reader. That effect would be great if it ever goes to a TV commercial - with video you could pan from the craziness and crowding of the area with regular book readers away to the calm in-control peace where the Reader readers are. You could even show someone trying to read or watch a video on a laptop, sitting on the floor awkwardly because they had to plug in their laptop!

Hmmm... and I thought the ad was really nice when I first saw it because it was so reflective of a library and the spacious clean feeling that having a Reader instead of paper books provides.
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Old 04-23-2007, 10:21 AM   #12
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Aha, still the ad does not work. It means that it is too subtle even for the non-casual reader.
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Old 04-23-2007, 11:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donovanh
I like the photo of the airport.. if it was full of people it would look cluttered and uncomfortable, and it would be harder to imagine taking a seat and having a read.

I've been to plenty of airports that have empty rows of seats just a little away from the main throng, they're much more pleasant than being among impatient kids etc.

So from that perspective I reckon it's a good advert. A chilled out opportunity to read books
I agree. I think the ad is about spaciousness, lack of clutter, clean lines, etc. That is exactly the kind of spot I would want to wait for my departure, even if it were away from my gate. It invites you to sit down and read. It makes reading easy and enjoyable when traveling, and I think that is one benefit of the Reader.
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Old 04-23-2007, 11:50 AM   #14
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i always thought a cool ad would be to print a reader in actual size with a plastic sheet stuck onto it explaining e-ink technology and how the display would look just like the plastic sheet or something like that. This ad really lacks imagination, its simple and clean but I probably wouldn't give it a second look.
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Old 04-23-2007, 02:44 PM   #15
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I agree that the empty space is wrong. The ad needs at least ONE person, quietly reading their reader! Better yet, a FEW additional people looking a bit frazzled or restless, clearly not at-ease, nearby.
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