- Sony premiered on social video app TikTok a slickly produced video starring singer Nicky Jam, who appears in the Sony Pictures hit "Bad Boys for Life." The video was shot entirely with Sony's Xperia 1 flagship smartphone to showcase its camera features, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer. The video generated more than 6 million views across three channels.
- Described as "the most epic TikTok ever made," the video short opens with star YouTuber Teala Dunn acting as if she's providing an on-the-scene report from the Sony Pictures Studios lot in Los Angeles. She sees Nicky Jam and asks him, "What's it like being a bad boy?" He proceeds to take her on a high-speed motorcycle chase that ends on a rooftop parking lot. Sony posted a behind-the-scenes video on YouTube showing how it made the TikTok video with a smartphone.
- Sony's TikTok short is the second video in the Sony Collaboration Series, a brand campaign that brings together Sony Music Entertainment artists and its latest technology. Its first video featured rapper DDG and professional skateboarder Neen Williams, and showcased Sony's app-enabled smart sensors called MESH IoT blocks, per a separate announcement.
Sony's first TikTok video is impressive for its production value, while the spontaneity of its action sequence that includes a high-speed motorcycle chase through a fight scene captures the creative spirit of the social video platform. The video doesn't have an overt sales message, showing a billboard for the movie "Bad Boys for Life" only briefly.
The lack of a hard sell is also characteristic of TikTok videos that aim for viral growth, and Sony doesn't mention its Xperia 1 phone in the spot. Instead, Sony produced a separate behind-the-scenes short that shows how the TikTok video was made with its flagship smartphone attached to a gimbal for a steadier shot. Again, the emphasis is on creativity and how people can use Sony's products to produce content. The Sony Collaboration Series leverages its stable of performers to promote the latest consumer electronics.
The more than 6 million views for the TikTok video is respectable, but the number pales in comparison to videos promoted with branded hashtag challenges that invite TikTok users to create their own viral videos. For example, the National Football League, which last year signed a multiyear promotional partnership with TikTok, generated 1.37 billion views with its #superbowlliv challenge that urged football fans to share their team spirit during Super Bowl weekend. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Hyundai, PepsiCo's Doritos and Mtn Dew and Intuit's TurboTax also ran campaigns during the Super Bowl to reach TikTok's mostly Gen Z audience.
Meanwhile, TikTok plans to expand its promotional efforts this year during major sporting events, after running an ad twice during Fox's livestream of the Super Bowl, The Wall Street Journal reported. The ad was among Fox's streaming-only ad inventory, which the network also sold to ViacomCBS's Showtime Networks and shoe brand Saucony. Fox sought $300,000 and $400,000 for 30 seconds of ad time in its livestream, compared with as much as $5.6 million for its live TV broadcast, the newspaper reported.