Sony Once Sold Its Waterproof Walkman in Water Bottles Alongside Coca-Cola

Sony waterproof walkman in bottle
Is the water drinkable?

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Sony took “show and tell” to the extreme

In 2009, Sony launched their W (Wearable) series, which were audio players built into headphones. Years later, in 2013, they introduced the W270 Series. The main selling point of the series was an IPX8-rated waterproof build geared towards swimmers and athletes.

Unfortunately, sales were initially unimpressive, particularly in New Zealand. So, in an effort to turn things around and further prove the W Series Walkman’s reliability, Sony developed a remarkable marketing strategy.

The Bottled Walkman

The Sony W Series Walkman inside a water-filled bottle (From: DraftFCB).
The Sony W Series Walkman inside a water-filled bottle (From: DraftFCB)

In collaboration with the advertising agency: FCB, Sony packaged the Walkman inside a water bottle to prove its durability. The bottled Walkmans were then sold for NZ$99.95 inside vending machines in gyms and pool centers all over Auckland. This increased exposure and allowed people to access them for swimming or exercise easily.

Sony's bottled Walkman in a vending machine alongside Coca-cola
Sony’s bottled Walkman in a vending machine alongside Coca-Cola (From:

The W270 Series had a robust rubber gasket that sealed all its openings, making it impervious to water. This allowed it to function underwater for up to 30 minutes.

As such, this one-of-a-kind approach created a huge buzz around the product. The campaign reached an audience of roughly 520 million thanks to social media. It also exceeded the initial sales increase the target of 20% by 380%. And by December 2014, the product had officially sold out in New Zealand.

Sony’s Other Innovative Marketing Campaigns

Xperia AquaTech Concept Store (From:
Xperia AquaTech Concept Store (From:

The Bottled Walkman isn’t Sony’s only attempt at out-of-the-box marketing. In 2014, the company also launched an underwater pop-up store to showcase the new Xperia Z3 and its IP68 design.

The concept store, dubbed the Xperia Aquatech, consisted of a dome-shaped structure located four meters under the sea in Dubai. And being an invite-only event, the attendees were limited to VIPs, influencers, media personnel, and contest winners.

Guests were provided custom Sony diving suits, as well as diving equipment. Pool training (mandatory before entering the store) also took place at a beachside resort on the World Islands.

Inside the Xperia Aquatech concept store (From: Youtube/Sony Xperia Middle East
Inside the Xperia Aquatech concept store (From: Youtube/Sony Xperia Middle East)

After training, guests were then escorted into the store by trained divers. Once inside, they could stand on the seafloor, remove their diving gear, and enjoy live demos of Sony Xperia devices.

According to Spyros Gousetis, director of Marketing at Sony Mobile Middle East and Africa, the Xperia Aquatech Store was designed to “put Sony’s pioneering waterproof technology on its smart devices at the forefront” and “deliver an unforgettable experience to guests and fans in a visually, and emotionally powerful way.

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