The Rocket Project


    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.

    To do this we partnered with Technology Corporations, Non- Profit Organizations, Government, Education and Media to create an authentic integrated brand movement, The Sony Rocket Project and followed up with Project Shiphunt


    We recruited eight academically gifted students from the California Academy of Math and Sciences (C.A.M.S.) a public magnet high school focusing on math and science and paired them with Rocket Mavericks, a civilian space foundation. Over the course of a semester the team designed, built and with the support NASA, launched 29-foot, 1,100-pound, multi-stage rocket into space using only a Sony VAIO laptop computer.

    We documented every step of the journey and shared the story with our audience. Social media helped amplify the story; online films 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 and over 750,000 unique visitors came to the site to follow the story. We released video’s on YouTube and on Twitter, we created a hash tag (#rocketproject) that enabled us to follow tweets in real-time and imbed a constantly updated tweet feed on our website. Our social media channels received a combined total of over 5 million views.


    The Sony Rocket Project generated over 232 million earned media impressions (over $8 million in earned media), and was covered by over 100 networks worldwide. A real time digital countdown in Times Square, New York City generated excitement and support for our historic launch and The Rocket Project culminated in a half-hour documentary, which aired on Discovery’s Science Channel.


    The Sony Rocket Project is an authentic integrated advertising campaign that transcends “intermedia” and integrates into culture and society as a powerful and inspiring force for business, for change and for good in the world by being an inspiring example of and advocate for STEM Education. Our innovative STEM curriculum model is being duplicated in 28 schools internationally.

    But of all the positive effects of the campaign, my personal favorite is probably one that would have happened anyway. When Steven a student from C.A.M.S was chosen for the Rocket Project his father excitedly told me the story of how, as a very young child, maybe three or four, Steven would draw pictures of rockets and tell his family that one day he would build a Rocket and launch it into space. When Stevens academic gift became apparent the entire family moved from their comfortable life in the Philippians to Carson, California, supporting their son to follow his dream.  During the Rocket Project, Steven received a scholarship and is currently attending MIT. Steven, his family, C.A.M.S and our other Rocket Mavericks embody Make.Believe.


    Webby Awards
    One Show (Silver and Bronze)