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Sony Says: ‘Wie Will Win Over Consumers’

8/10/2006 02:14:00 PM Eastern

New York - Sony Electronics’ upcoming marketing and advertising schedule will be all things Wie.

The consumer electronics giant will place the smiling face of 16-year-old pro golfer Michelle Wie on a variety of products ranging from the just introduced mylo instant messaging gadget to Vaio computers. The slate of ads will start this fall and run through the holidays, said Mike Fasulo, Sony’s chief marketing officer.

“We want to link exceptional gifts with an exceptional person, Michelle Wie, said Stuart Redson, corporate marketing senior VP, adding that there is a great deal of alignment between the Sony and Wie brands.

Wie, who has a five-year contract with Sony, spoke animatedly about her personal enjoyment of several Sony products at a press event today.

Fasulo said Wie’s mix of sophistication; style and fun match up well with Sony’s brand image as seen by the company’s target audience, the 60 million Americans that Sony considers their Most Valuable Prospects. The campaign around Wie will focus around what these people like to do for fun. According to a Sony indexing system of these potential customers, they enjoy baseball, football, golf and NASCAR so Sony has developed marketing plans for each category, including a new NASCAR spot that uses its “Lo-Def” animated/puppet commercial format that was introduced last year.

Despite Wie’s fame as a golfer, the ad spots do not push Wie’s profession, but more her personal image. The holiday print ads place Wie in a series of traditional holiday settings such as a bringing out a tray of digital cameras from the oven as if they were Christmas cookies or making a wreath out of Vaio notebook computers.

“They have a homespun holiday feel with a Sony twist,” Redson said.

Non-Wie related holiday promotions will include in-store and online promotions for Blu-ray Disc. Fasulo said Sony and hired hands will visit thousands of stores to demonstrate BD and HDTV. Between the live demos and the online content Sony expects 100 million people to have some level of interactive experience with the new technology.

Sony is also broadening its attempts to attract women customers with a series of TV spots that utilize TiVo’s Green Thumb technology that shows extra ad content at the viewer’s discretion. Fasulo said viewers are no longer willing to watch traditional 30 or 60 second spots so they will now see the Green Thumb pop up 15 seconds into an ad that will offer them the choice of watching one of four commercials, each geared toward a different demographic.

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