Sonos Playbase

What I did

Concept and art direction

Sonos Playbase

As a brand Sonos requires no introductions, but a new product always does. Sonos Playbase is a wireless soundbar that was launched in 2017 under a global campaign titled “Wake Up The Silent Home”. The pitch brief we received was simple: design a head-turning retail window for the European market. So we rolled up our sleeves, won the pitch (yay!), and then it was time to bring the concept to life.

Promoting a cutting-edge speaker without using sound

Playing sound in the window wasn’t an option, so we had to ask ourselves: what does sound look like? And after a decent amount of research and head-scratching, we finally found our answer while flipping through Sonos’s brand guidelines: like a timeless sound ripple.

Now here comes the art-direction part: We imagined a slick scandinavian black room with an animated LED sound ripple placed directly in front of a white Sonos speaker. As if the ripple was being created by the player every time the sound goes on. It was a little more conceptual than what Sonos had initially signed up for, but they loved it!

Silent black room + Sound visualisation

After selling the concept our design needed to be prototyped, tested, reproduced and then shipped to several locations across Europe. So as a next step we dove into making the same set up work with different space restriction and styling budgets in mind, without compromising the original concept.

We ended up with a bunch of scenarios, technical drawings and instructions. These eventually came together in the form of a detailed style guide that was sent to all the different shops so they can create their own window.

Light is off: the room is silent - Light on: the room is full of sound.

A final window in Copenhagen

Last thoughts

Coming up with creative concepts is a challenging process, but actualising them is a whole other level of thinking and planning. Shout-out to oy’s production and project management skills for making this happen!

What I learned

Concepting for a retail window

Work done for oy. In collaboration with Ioanna Kyrtatou & Daan Kemp