Creating a legend: Sennheiser's monumental “Reshaping Excellence” campaign builds anticipation for launch of audio specialist’s “next big thing”
Sennheiser has committed to “Reshaping Excellence”, with a major global campaign spearheading the audio specialist’s mission to redefine the future of audio. Created in partnership with advertising agency Philipp und Keuntje, “Reshaping Excellence” is at the heart of a phased reveal for a mysterious new milestone product. Kicked off by unique live events, the buildup of the cross-channel campaign is being created by ground-breaking interactive online experiences, social media and PR, with initial teasers followed by major revelations as the November launch grows closer.
At the heart of the “Reshaping Excellence” campaign, which is one of the largest ever undertaken by Sennheiser, is the audio specialist’s “next mile-stone” – a yet unnamed era-defining product that Sennheiser has promised will embody a new benchmark for excellence in the high end audio world. “Launching an unprecedented product like this demands different thinking and a new outside perspective, which helps to shape this vision,” said Uwe Greunke, Director Global Marketing at Sennheiser. “This product exists in a dimension entirely of its own – an uncompromised showcase for the state of the art that not only sets new benchmarks for high-end sound, but also epitomizes the achievements and values of the Sennheiser brand.”
Shaping a new mythology through a unique campaign
The new milestone product will be existing in a rarefied world of high-fidelity sound, groundbreaking technology and hand-crafted luxury. Uwe Greunke explains how Sennheiser worked with Hamburg–based agency Philipp und Keuntje to place the concept of “legend” at the heart of the new campaign, building anticipation for the launch with the creation of a new mythology built around a new ‘monument to sound’: “We have taken a bold new direction with our marketing. A decision was made to dramatize the process of the launch, engaging Sennheiser-fans and sound aficionados on a journey that would itself help to fuel speculation, mystery and forge a new legend. Participation was vital to the process – drawing on how people create myths through collective story-telling”.
“Sennheiser showed trust in the agency to create this innovative world,” said Mike John Otto, Executive Creative Director at Philipp und Keuntje. “Campaigns like this demand a very cooperative approach and some courage to go down such an unusual path – here drawing on mythology. But the results are truly exciting, and we are all incredibly proud of the campaign. It has been a real labor of love for the team.”
Introducing a new legend
The new era of “Reshaping Excellence” was launched at a live event on August 27 at London’s Central Hall Westminster. Starting the first phase of the campaign, the event helped set the tone for what is to come, combining exclusivity with a focus on exceptional sound.
The launch event was live-streamed to a global, audience via an exclusive partnership with Head-Fi.org – the leading online audiophile authority – and promoted via the company’s social channels. Emphasizing the once-in-a-lifetime aspects of the product launch itself, the event featured a unique concert performed in front of 1,200 guests by Grammy Award-winning artist Imogen Heap and the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie orchestra. Sennheiser’s CEOs Daniel and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser then presented the world with its very first look at the mysterious product – a teasing few seconds glimpse of the sleek device.
Revealing the product step by step
The overall approach of the campaign is to release a steadily increasing level of information regarding the new product between the kick-off event and the November launch date. A few details relating to the peerless performance and construction of the product were shared at the London event, before the mystery product was again shrouded.
A hub for the campaign is a dedicated website www.sennheiser-reshapingexcellence.com that brings the mythology of the new product to life through a combination of new information, story-telling and game play – in which fans can participate in revealing the product. As further facts are released, the site will form the center-piece of social media activity and a focal point for new product information in the weeks before the official launch. “Each user is invited to craft a part of the legend, and to go on a ‘quest’ to discover the source of the mystery. We didn’t want to create a ‘lean back’ experience,” adds Uwe Greunke.
Interactive audio-visual experience
This sense of quest is vividly created for visitors to the site, who are immediately swept on a cinematic flight through clouds into a powerfully realized fantasy landscape.
Naturally, audio is at the heart of this experience, with complex, shifting soundscapes blending realistic wind noises with mysterious ambient music. Visitors are then invited to help create the “new monument to sound” – helping to build and reveal a titanic sculpture of the new product by making their own unique sound sculpture that will form a stone in an emerging monument. The gameplay elements involve striking at rocks to shape their sculpture, with each strike playing a distinct sound depending on how and where it lands. Each person therefore makes a completely individual pattern of sounds. Each visitor is invited to share their own sound sculpture on Facebook encouraging others to join in the process of the reveal.
With its focus on seamlessly blending cinematic and interactive 3D elements, the ‘Reshaping Excellence’ website had to itself break new ground. It is one of the first campaigns to use WebGL, a new technology that enables highly realistic 3D rendering of graphics within any compatible web browser.
Visit www.sennheiser-reshapingexcellence.com to watch the legend taking shape and sign up to the special newsletter to learn more.