Sony stages human billboard stunt at Wimbledon to push its 4K HDTVs

Sony's oddball marketing campaign coincides with the UK launch of its 55X9 Bravia and 65X9 Bravia Ultra HD televisions.

Sony is at Wimbledon this year pushing the wonders of 4K resolution to the strawberries-and-cream-eating masses at the famous British tennis tournament this week..

To prove just how amazing all those extra pixels can be, the electronics maker has turned one Wimbledon player into a running, volleying, back-spinning advertisement.

During the annual grass court tournament, Anne Keothavong, who is ranked number 5 in Britain and 217 in the world, is wearing ad copy so small Sony says it is only visible on television through the magic of 4K, also known as Ultra HD.

The words "Sony 4K Ultra HD" are plastered in miniature all over Keothavong, including her fingernails, the hem of her skirt, shoelaces, and other locations on her Wimbledon gear. Dubbed 'microtising'--a mash-up of microscopic and advertising--Sony hopes to use the ploy at other sporting events where the magic of 4K will be on display.

Tennis player Anne Keothavong carries Sony advertising on her fingernails (shown here and above), shoelaces, the hem of her tennis outfit, and other places as she competes at Wimbledon this week.
Tennis player Anne Keothavong carries Sony advertising on her fingernails (shown here and above), shoelaces, the hem of her tennis outfit, and other places as she competes at Wimbledon this week.

UK 4K launch

Sony's miniature marketing campaign coincides with the UK launch of the 55X9 Bravia and 65X9 Bravia Ultra HD televisions. Sony's 55- and 65-inch Ultra HDTVs - which feature a display resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixe - went on sale in the US in April for $5000 and $7000, respectively. While the pricing for the 4K Sony TVs are out of reach for most people, these are the first Ultra HDTVs that didn't come with a five-figure price tag attached.

The only problem with 4K right now is that, even if you can afford a television with extra pixels, finding 4K content to take advantage of the resolution is a problem. Broadcasters aren't ready to start pumping ultra high-definition images through their pipes yet, so 4K early adopters must rely on a handful of upscaled movies from Sony to experience 4K at home.

Sony says its miniature ad campaign will last as long as Keothavong stays in the tournament. So anyone wanting to see the British tennis star may have to act fast. Keothavong was knocked out of the singles competition during Wimbledon's opening day Monday, losing in straight sets to Garbine Muguruza. Keothavong still has to compete in the doubles tournament with compatriot Johann Konta. Glass at Wimbledon

Keothavong wasn't the only women's player geeking out at Wimbledon this year.

American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, ranked number 58 in the world, is in the Google Glass Explorer program for early adopters.

The competitor had hoped to wear Glass during her matches at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, and did show up for practice in London wearing the high-tech specs.

But Mattek-Sands was Glassless when she took to the court Tuesday for her first singles match. It's not clear if Wimbledon's overseers at the All England Club refused to allow her to wear Glass, but that seems to be the most likely reason.

Wimbledon is well known for enforcing a strict dress code for players, and complications with broadcast rights or sponsorship deals may have also stymied Glass' pro tennis debut.

Unfortunately, Mattek-Sands won't have a second chance to try out Glass at Wimbledon this year. The American lost her first singles match to Angelique Kerber in straight sets and isn't scheduled for doubles competition. Well, there's always Flushing Meadows in August.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags HDTVmarketingindustry verticalssonyHDTVs

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

TechHive (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?