Calling all ‘Music Maniacs’

Sony Ericsson just launched a social networking site with a big difference: some CGC critters will be used in an ad campaign.

Late last week, Toronto-HQ’d Sony Ericsson Canada launched, a website that enables visitors to create ‘fun-loving music maniac characters’ on the brand’s Walkman phones and on social media sites.

What’s unusual about the initiative is that the company plans to use some of the consumer-generated critters in a marketing campaign that’s running for the next five weeks. ‘Our Music Maniacs media campaign will increase online community involvement and strengthen the emotional connection people experience with the music they listen to on their Sony Ericsson Walkman phone,’ says Sony Ericsson president/GM Michelle Digulla. ‘Music Maniacs lend themselves perfectly to the social online experience because individuals are able to post, modify and exchange their creations among their friends.’

With creative by Iris New York, media buys by MediaEdge and PR by the iPR Group (both of Toronto), the promotional campaign is set to invade the ad space of various social media, music and lifestyle websites with prominent displays showcased on MuchMusic, YouTube Music, AOL Music, Gawker Media, and As well, expandable video content will be viewable on YouTube and Facebook. The latter site is enabling visitors to send Music Maniac characters to friends using its gift application.

Sony Ericsson is also sponsoring MSN’s Personal Expressions Pilot Program, enabling online users to download Music Maniac avatars and background display pictures for their MSN Messenger program. Along with the social media demonstrations and applications, Sony Ericsson will sponsor six weekly newsletters for Eye Weekly and Georgia Straight.