Project Shiphunt


    Human Empowerment is more powerful than a gigahertz

    In 2009 Sony announced its new global brand strategy make.believe, marking the first time any message has served to represent the company’s entire range of products. Make.believe symbolizes the spirit of the Sony brand. It stands for the power of our creativity, our ability to turn ideas into reality, and the belief that anything we can imagine, we can make real. We emphasize the importance of the period between “make” and “believe,” as the point “where imagination and reality collide”.

    The latest line of Sony VAIOs were armed with the newest and most powerful Intel processors ever: the Core Series and claimed to have “more computing power than the first Apollo rocket to reach the moon”.

    We needed to create a campaign that embodied Sony’s global brand strategy make.believe, highlighting the superior technology of their product and harnessing the imagination and creative power of our customers.

    It is the first time a major brand like Sony & Intel have partnered with a major federal government agency and a world-renowned non-profit research organization to create a multi-platform, branded content integrated brand movement.

    The Sony Rocket Project used the Sony VAIO to build and launch a Rocket into Space now we would turn our attention to the bottom of the ocean.


    For Sony Project Shiphunt, another groundbreaking science and technology education initiative was created. We followed six high school students from economically hard hit city of Saginaw, Michigan on an inspiring and dramatic educational journey to discover two one hundred year old lost shipwrecks in Thunder Bay’s Shipwreck Alley. It was a huge undertaking that put the technology of Sony and Intel once again into the hands of students, and under the instruction of world-renowned nautical archeologist James Delgado of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), staff from the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, the Office of the Coast Survey and the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and supported by the deep water divers and ROV’s of the equally renowned WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute), and Google Oceans, they embarked on the educational trip of a lifetime.

    We documented every step of the journey and shared the story with our audience. Social media helped amplify the story; web films exploring nautical archaeology and student-generated content chronicled the six-month long adventure. We developed a tab on Sony’s Facebook page for visitors to receive updates and interact with Sony about the project. We created an interactive Facebook Shiphunt game and sunk ships in Google oceans then challenged the world to find them. Our Social Media channels received a combined total of over 7 million views. A one-hour documentary of the Project Shiphunt aired nationally on Current TV’s “50 Documentaries to See Before You Die” to 70 million households and continues to and continues to play daily at NOAA’s Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary.


    The story was covered by major media outlets worldwide, including live appearances with our students on morning TV talk shows (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX), reaching over 90 million viewers. Sony Project Shiphunt generated 500 million earned media impressions (over $10 million in earned media) and successfully demonstrates doing good is good business.

    Best of All five high school students found something greater than a ship, they discovered their potential.


    One Show (Silver and Bronze)