The campaign, created by McCann London, will use TV, print, digital, outdoor and retail activity in more than 20 markets to highlight how the new handset captures the range of Sony technology.
The TV ad begins with a recap of Sony products: people watching the moon landing on a Sony TV; women rollerblading and listening to an original Sony Walkman; a man using a Sony Handycam to capture the fall of the Berlin Wall, and children playing the first Sony PlayStation model.
The ad then ends with a couple of travellers at the Holi festival in India, known for its explosion of paint power and water – perfect conditions to show off the phone’s water and dust resistant qualities.
A spokeswoman for Sony declined to comment on the media value of the campaign, but said it was the "most ambitious marketing campaign yet" for the Xperia brand.
The TV spot was directed by Tarsem Singh and is set to David Bowie’s ‘Sound and Vision’, which was specially remixed for the spot by Sonjay Prabhakar. The media agency is PHD.
Steve Walker, chief marketing officer at Sony Mobile, said: "The launch of our new flagship Xperia Z smartphone marks a milestone as it truly brings together the innovative Sony technology, entertainment and connected experiences into a single device."
Other marketing channels will be used to promote the specific features of the phone, including the HD display, an HDR camera that can take pictures in any light, one-touch sharing functionality, and water/dust resistance.
Rob Doubal, executive creative director for McCann London, said: "There aren't many brands that can leverage such emotion in people's lives. It's been great working with Sony, Tarsem and Bowie to bring to life all that the Xperia Z offers. It's a big moment in the mobile world."
Chloe Grindle and Thomas Ilum wrote the campaign, with art direction by Michael Thomason Zoe Sys Vogelius.
The ad was launched yesterday at Mobile World Congress.