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Sonos Super Bowl Commmercial: A Big Break for Wireless Audio

Integrators should be thanking Sonos for aggressively courting new consumers though its Super Bowl commercial that cost about $4 million for 30 seconds.


Sonos took a huge financial risk for a young company by advertising during the Super Bowl, showing consumers how they can deliver music throughout a home without wires. 

I would like to be the first of what could be many people from the custom installation market thanking Sonos for a gift that hopefully keeps on giving.

Sonos aggressively entered the world of Super Bowl advertising, which is dominated by Budweiser, Doritos, Chrysler and Pepsi.

Despite having a much smaller wallet, Sonos ponied up an estimated $4 million for a 30-second ad to introduce the world to wireless whole-house audio. Taking part in the largest platform in American professional sports, and the advertising industry’s marquee event, Sonos answered pundits’ questions about how it would respond to the challenge of companies such as Bose, Samsung and others entering a category it single-handedly developed.

Sonos showed the world how they can entertain themselves without a major investment in wiring their homes for bulky audio gear, while delivering valuable leads to dealers that are seeking to grow their businesses.

By advertising during Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and now world champion Seattle Seahawks, Sonos demonstrated to dealers how much it values its position as a market leader and showed an estimated 70 percent of American homes that they don’t need to completely remodel their homes to stream audio throughout their homes.

Who knows, maybe in 10 years Sonos’ ad will be looked at as fondly as Apple’s groundbreaking 1984 ad that introduced the world to its MacIntosh computer. Even if it doesn’t have that kind of impact, Sonos’ ad is a huge step in the right direction for an industry that’s been looking for a break since the government declared the recession was over a couple of years ago. 

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Article Topics

Blogs · Videos · Audio · Distributed Audio · Sonos · All topics

About the Author

Robert Archer, Senior Editor, CE Pro
Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass.

6 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Chuck Schneider  on  02/04  at  10:30 AM

I couldn’t agree more. 

For nearly 3 decades I sat in CES or CEDIA national sales meetings for reps and heard companies FAR FAR larger than Sonos say they couldn’t afford basic cable advertising, let alone the Super Bowl. 

Keep in mind that this ad has been on SNL and NBC ( I think) Sunday Night Football all through December as well. Plus their 2 great commercials from last year that were absolutely spot on for the right demographic as this current spot is.

Congrats to Sonos.  Nice to see SOMEONE on the vendor side of this business actually and literally put their money where their mouth is.

Most all are all hat and no cattle.

Now when a vendor cries poverty the question becomes “How did Sonos do it?”

Posted by Matt  on  02/04  at  07:06 PM

Great comment, and really nice to see someone recognize Sonos’ efforts here.  I think the only correction is that their Super Bowl ad spot ran 60 seconds, not 30 …. so I think they dropped more than $4M!

Posted by Chuck Schneider  on  02/05  at  04:41 PM

True.  It was a 60 but much later in the game when the rate card goes down.  That said, it was a deep into 7 figure investment for Sonos and their December buys (SNL, SNF) cost them a ton more than a spot on the 3AM Sioux City Farm Report or a Cheers rerun on TBS.

My hat is off to Sonos.

Speaking of Cheers, the Radio Shack spot rivals the best ever and will no doubt be on those “Best of” shows leading up to the Bowl long after the Shack is no more.

(You’ve got questions—we’ve got blank expressions.)

Posted by John Nemesh  on  02/07  at  05:24 PM

I am not a huge fan of Sonos (thanks to them totally locking out 3rd party control solutions), but I have to tip my hat to them for this commercial!  It is simply BRILLIANT to show multi-zone audio as colors creeping through the home!  Simple, VERY eye catching, and shows in a few seconds what the system can do.  Good job on an excellent commercial, guys!

Posted by Richard Stoerger  on  02/10  at  04:18 PM

Hi Bob

Thank you for reporting on this most notable marketing effort by Sonos.  This 60-second spot has been warming my heart for nearly two months, airing during NFL games and even network singing shows (The Voice comes to mind).  To see that Sonos took the initiative during the primest of prime time events – the Super Bowl – really makes a statement.

First and foremost, this commercial, completely lacking any narrative voice-over, is in my opinion the most amazing sixty-seconds espousing the virtues of multi-room audio, something that has been a passion of mine since joining ADA some 25 years ago.  Between the music mashup and the use of color to demonstrate sound filtration, I could not have dreamt up a better way to sonically and visually demonstrate the wonders of house-wide multi-room sound.

For those in the industry, you really should look at this spot not as an attack on your business but rather as a huge marketing opportunity.  For starters, my first impression was that this isn’t a Sonos house, it’s an ADA house just by the look and feel of the spaces, rooms and treatments (albeit not all our houses are white). 

Secondly, the promise the commercial makes simply cannot be reproduced with just two speakers and a sound bar, at least not in the manner the flowing blue and red lighting would make one imagine it would be.  To provide this level of filtration of sound, you would need multiple speaker pairs and that is why we specifically introduced the PTM-1645 (designed for Sonos) at this year’s CEDIA Expo, CES and ISE.  This eight-zone high-current amplifier when connected to 2 or 3 Sonos Connects can do the job this commercial presentation promises, all for around the same price as 7 to 8 Sonos Amplifiers not including speakers (ok, no more product pitching).

Suffice it to say that the benefits of multi-room music are powerful because like adjustable lighting, music sets the mood and tone of one’s environment.  This Sonos commercial is in my opinion a milestone in terms of presenting this technology in a manner that people can comprehend and aspire to.

It is now up to the rest of us to show consumers that for just about the same money, you can truly achieve the promise of this commercial presentation, all while living in the Sonos ecosystem, which in fact is quite robust. 

So from the standpoint of ADA and our “Rolls Royce” reputation when it comes to multi-room sound, I ask simply … can anyone say CLIO?

Happy Hunting


Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  02/10  at  06:03 PM

Very well said, Richard!

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