Sony and Olivia Rodrigo collaborate on ad for co-branded earbuds
The spot recreates the world from the Bad Idea, Right? music video, with the collaboration giving fans a new way to listen to the artist’s two studio albums.
A new initiative from Sony Electronics aims to hit all the right notes with fans of three-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo.
The tech giant today announced the release of limited-edition co-branded LinkBuds S, the brand’s latest noise-cancelling wireless earbuds. Additionally, the brand unveiled a new ad spot based on Rodrigo’s music video for Bad Idea, Right?, off of Guts, her second studio album, released earlier this month via Geffen Records.
The new Olivia Rodrigo-branded LinkBuds S headphones not only take visual cues from the Guts album cover with their marbled violet coloring; they also boast custom EQs (short for ‘equalizers’) tuned by Rodrigo herself and her producer, Daniel Nigro.
According to Sony officials, the earbuds’ custom EQs create a bespoke listening experience for Rodrigo’s two studio albums, Guts and her first album, Sour, released in May 2021. The listening experiences are available to all consumers via Sony’s mobile app, ‘Headphones Connect,’ as a preset and are playable across all streaming platforms.
Moreover, Rodrigo, who has long used her platform to discuss sustainability, has selected an environmentally conscious design for the headphones. The design incorporates factory-recovered plastic, reclaimed water bottles and recycled plastic materials from automobile parts into the headphones’ body and case.
“We’ve never done anything like [these co-branded earbuds] before; it’s the first of its kind for us,” Jordy Freed, Sony’s director and head of brand, business development and personal entertainment, told The Drum.
The effort is part of Sony’s new ‘For The Music’ brand platform, which launched in July and involves hands-on collaboration on products with artists and bringing their unique visions to life. Previous iterations of For the Music have revolved around Sza, Khalid and Tate McRae.
For Rodrigo’s ad spot, Sony brought on the Bad Idea Right? music video director, Petra Collins. In the ad, Rodrigo dons her LinkBuds S and gets lost in her own music as she dances around the same house and some of the extras from the original music video.
This was done, according to Freed, to give Rodrigo complete creative agency in the collaboration and give fans a product that feels authentic. “[The spot is] an extension of the music video world; it blends at that point. If you’re merging those worlds, it’s not a brand controlling the [brand messaging] – it’s a collaboration that starts with the artist’s vision.”
The spot, co-created by Sony’s and Rodrigo’s creative teams, will run across Hulu, YouTube and Spotify, as well as during Thursday night football.
Sony is also bringing Rodrigo to Tokyo, Japan for the first time for an in-person event this week, where she will announce the collaboration to 200 fans.
A final component of the campaign is two 3D billboards, on display in Tokyo and New York’s Times Square.