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Sonos fights Apple, Amazon and Google with tears

Commentary: Big competitors are marching at you. What do you do? Release ads that appeal to the heart.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


She's left him. But there's solace in Sonos. 

Sonos/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Sonos executives must be looking at vast tech companies making smart speakers and resisting the urge to hum a dirge.

Amazon launched its latest Echos last week. Google on Wednesday presented its new Homes -- including a charmingly unattractive Max that claims to offer quite a boom. Then there's Apple, whose music-based HomePod comes to market in December.

Sonos has a new speaker, too. The Sonos One, which the company claims work with Alexa now and will play nice with Google assistant and Siri next year.

The company's biggest concern, however, it that you'll simply forget all about Sonos, as the bigger brands toot their relentless horns. Sonos has, therefore, decided to appeal to your humanity and the heart that allegedly still beats within. 

Its released new ads for the One that press play on your feelings. They insist that Sonos is a mood enhancer.

In one, a teen is in his room, lamenting a lost love. Naturally, he plays lament-worthy music. But when he hears mom knocking, he goes hardcore. As every teen with self-esteem would.

Naturally, mom isn't without her human (and technological) smarts. She hears through his attempt at subterfuge.

In another ad, a more adult man isn't in the best of spirits. 

Do you see a pattern here?

He's made dinner at home. His lover doesn't turn up. She's working late. Of course she is. When she finally gets home, he doesn't become frustrated -- as so many lesser lover might. Instead, he unpauses a romantic song he was listening to earlier.

It really is this easy, apparently, to create loving harmony. And I thought relationships were hard.

Oh, this is all very nice.

It's attempting to preempt Apple's pretensions for HomePod to be "the new sound of home" by suggesting that Sonos is "the smart speaker for music lovers."

The problem is that even music lovers now treat music as something of a disposable commodity. There's so much of it around that songs often don't have the meaning they used to have in times of scarcity, when CDs were still magical.

Do these ads make a compelling case for Sonos? 

They're authentic to the brand. They use good music and highly televisual people.

But ads like these are like Tinder profiles. It's too easy to swipe left and dance to a different tune. 

Technically Incorrect: Bringing you a fresh and irreverent take on tech.

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