Technology: 3 Mobile unlocks phone's appeal

Campaign: The Race to Unbox; Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
Client: 3 Mobile
PR team: Brando
Timescale: 23 March
Budget: £7,200

When Sony Ericsson launched new phone Xperia Play, 3 Mobile was given the first ten phones to come off the production line. The mobile phone network asked Brando to give away the phones in a creative way using social media.


- To build hype around the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play available on 3

- To increase the volume of positive conversation online.

Strategy and plan

The PR team decided to use 3's Twitter channel, which already had a large and engaged audience, to host a competition.

Using 3's advertising strapline 'Unchain Your Smartphone', the Xperia Play was chained to a plinth along with nine other prizes and 30 numbered padlocks. Competitors had to guess which key opened a padlock from a choice of 30 keys.

Players tweeted different combinations and a Twitcam streamed the action. The winners were announced live via Twitter.

Measurement and evaluation

The competition was supported by speaking to key gaming and technology bloggers. There were 12,929 uses of the #WinThreeXperiaPlay hashtag.


The Twitter feed gained an additional 417 followers on the day of the competition. The competition trended on Twitter, achieving third place in the UK.

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