Sony’s “W Series” Walkman is an incredible, category-leading innovation: an all in one mp3 player and headphone set that can literally be worn and listened to under water. But since launch, sales had been less than special.
The problem? For most people water and electronics just don’t mix. And as one of the first underwater headphone/mp3 player combinations on the market, consumers simply hadn’t got over this mental block.

To re-ignite sales we’d need to overcome this disbelief and reassure consumers that water and electronics really can mix.


Dramatise the product in a way that would not only demonstrate its waterproof credentials, but also earn some much-needed ‘new’ buzz and excitement.

Our idea: create an entirely new media channel…one that could demonstrate the product, get it in front of swimmers AND generate the talkability it needed…the humble water bottle.

We’d submerge the W Series Walkman in transparent water bottles; then through innovative placement and influencer outreach use these surprising new media channels to get swimmers, and the nation, talking.


We focused distribution of the bottles to generate maximum talkability amongst swimmers.

Firstly, a surprising addition to vending machines at swimming pools. Media-first ambient placements and geo-targeted mobile display directed swimmers to these machines in each location. Second, a contra-based PR programme using the bottles . Third, a tightly targeted influencer outreach campaign through Twitter and Facebook to people talking about the vending machine, high profile NZ sportspeople and selected swimming “super influencers”.

This got people talking about the W Series Walkman: over 500 million estimated media impressions were generated worldwide with coverage from Perez Hilton, Mashable to the UK’s Independent.
Crucially, because each exposure was a product demonstration that proved water and electronics actually can mix, we drove a record 400% increase in sales.