In a play to convince customers that its product is genuinely waterproof, Sony – in partnership with Draft FCB – put its latest MP3 player inside of a water bottle and sold it in vending machines in gym’s with pools. The MP3 player itself isn’t new; the issue is that most people now use their phones for MP3 playback and haven’t been buying the device itself. But by leveraging a niche crowd that would have a particular use for the product, namely swimmers, they’ve managed to make the product readily accessible in a way that appeals specifically to the target market. It’s a nifty way to take a product and thrust it forcefully into a target market.
Roku, quite astutely, made its move to get ahead of the anticipated October Apple TV refresh by announcing a new product line with three streaming devices at solid price points. In March, Roku debuted the Roku 3, which was the post powerful streaming player to date, at $99.99. In October, though, Roku will sell updated versions of the Roku LT, and new Roku 1 and Roku 2 players; the LT will run for $49.99 and feature 720p HD, the 1 will be $10 more for 1080p HD, and the 2 will be $79.99 for 1080p and dual-band Wi-Fi with a remote, instead of the standard Wi-Fi. One of the Roku’s most popular features – the Wi-Fi remote – only works with the Roku 2 and 3; the Roku line will also soon feature the DIAl standard, which will allow users to use the Roku like they would the Chromecast. Along with an improved UI, these updates make the Roku one of the best options for cord-cutters, and may yet give Apple TV a serious run for its money.