How do you best market a product as being waterproof? By selling it in sealed bottles filled with water, of course. Sony did just that by packaging its waterproof NWZ-W273 Walkman in water bottles. Actually, the clever marketing credit goes to DraftFCB, an advertising agency based in Auckland, New Zealand.
The bottled Walkman is sold in vending machines in pools and gyms across New Zealand. Launched at CES 2013, the $99.99 NWZ-W273 MP3 player/headphones Walkman set has been worn by swimmers and can be submerged in 2 meters (6 feet) of water continuously. With 3 minutes of charging, it can play back music for up to 60 minutes, with a full charge allowing 8 hours of uninterrupted play. The 4 GB internal memory can hold at least 900 tracks with the player coming in four colors.
Sony has warned users not to wear the gear while swimming in salty waters. The sound quality will deteriorate if water gets into the headsets and they should only be used after drying them out first.
Research has confirmed that listening to music certainly affects athletic performance in a positive way. The quirky idea is sure to delight swimmers and has transformed the humble vending machine into a conversation starter, a media portal, as well as an electronics distribution channel. Also, buying a Sony MP3 player is now as easy as buying a bottle of water, although, Sony has not mentioned anything about the quality of the water in the bottle.