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Toshiba Hires ‘Sopranos’ Star For New Ad Campaign

5/02/2007 09:08:00 AM Eastern

Wayne, N.J. – Toshiba has launched new marketing and promotional campaigns featuring “The Sopranos” star Michael Imperioli to support its growing HD DVD and REGZA LCD TV brands.

While not giving an exact dollar figure for the marketing effort, Toshiba corporate communications director Maria Repole said it represents “a substantial increase in ad spending over last year.” The expanded effort will see Toshiba’s first use of national broadcast and cable TV since “1997 or 1998,” she added.

The effort emphasizes how the combination of an HD DVD player and a REGZA 1080p LCD TV “results in an incredible high definition home movie experience,” Toshiba said.

To deliver a message that presumably you won’t be able to refuse, Toshiba has signed Imperioli (who plays “Soprano’s” character Christopher Moltisanti) as “the ambassador of HD DVD and REGZA.”

Imperioli, who in addition to acting is a writer, producer and film enthusiast, will be featured in the HD DVD print ads as well as REGZA and HD DVD TV commercials, Toshiba said.

“In these ads, Imperioli will speak to the one-of-a-kind product attributes that make REGZA LCD TVs and HD DVD players a great choice for consumers,” Toshiba said.

“Our new advertising campaign is designed to showcase our leadership in the home entertainment arena and clearly communicates the benefits of the HD DVD format and REGZA LCD picture quality,” said Repole. “Mr. Imperioli’s support – through his own commitment to creating high quality entertainment – reinforces the amazing experience that REGZA and HD DVD offer to consumers, industry leaders and movie lovers.”

To advertise REGZA, Toshiba will use the tagline “The One To Watch.”

The ad campaign will play up Toshiba’s eight different screen size offerings, ranging from 26 inches to 50 inches. The 29 second spots were crafted to communicate how consumers “can see, hear and feel the REGZA difference,”the company said.

“The goal of the campaign is to entice consumers to invest a small amount of time, and in return, come away with a better understanding of how REGZA picture quality truly stands out,” said Scott Ramirez, Toshiba marketing VP. “This is the most advanced television line Toshiba has ever produced, and in just 29 seconds we are confident that consumers will see the difference that PixelPure 3G makes, and appreciate the deep, clear, realistic images that set REGZA apart.”

The 29 second REGZA TV spot will feature Imperioli “using bright and vivid kaleidoscopes, as he narrates the emotions one will feel.”

Integrated print ads will ask consumers “to take 29 seconds to see why REGZA is The One to Watch.”

The REGZA TV spot will appear on national cable, including the A&E Network, as well as in print and online. National consumer print publications will feature the campaign and drive consumers to a micro site where they can view the TV spot and find a local retailer.

Some of the national publications carrying the ad include Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, Wired and Men’s Journal.

Toshiba said REGZA is also sponsoring ABC.com’s Full Episode Streaming, where visitors can watch the best of ABC’s primetime shows via streaming video. ABC.com viewers will have the opportunity to watch the TV spot as well as learn about REGZA technology within this interactive space.

Toshiba has launched a new micro site, (www.regza29seconds.com) to educate consumers about the 2007 REGZA line. The site will speak to the overall image quality of the TVs, Toshiba said. This will complement the existing REGZA Web site, www.regzalcdtv.com, which offers an array of resources in order to help consumers choose the REGZA TV that matches their needs and style.

For HD DVD, Toshiba will use the tagline “The Ultimate Movie Machine – From Toshiba.”

The HD DVD campaign launches this month and emphasizes versatility and picture quality, the company said.

“After a successful first year that saw momentum for HD DVD grow, Toshiba’s new advertising campaign takes HD DVD to a broader audience to increase awareness and focus on the industry evolution to high definition,” said Jodi Sally, Toshiba digital A/V Group marketing VP. “With our new pricing and new model introductions, HD DVD’s popularity continues to grow as consumer demand for HD content increases and high resolution audio and interactivity provide a more exciting home theater experience.”

An HD DVD TV commercial spot will feature Imperioli “discussing his passion for film and detailing why Toshiba’s HD DVD player is the right choice for the ultimate movie experience and the Ultimate Movie Machine,” Toshiba said.

Two separate integrated print ads will be released, one serving as an extension of the TV spot and another highlighting the HD DVD format’s backward compatibility with DVD. The Imperioli ad will address his experience as a writer, actor and producer along with his experience with HD DVD, and why it provides the ultimate movie experience.

In addition, Toshiba is running radio commercials throughout the year supporting its ongoing HD DVD retail promotions.

Broadcast spots will appear in top radio markets and on national cable outlets, including “The Sopranos” on the A&E Network. The TV commercial will also run on dedicated HD channels. HD DVD ads will be placed in top-tier print and online publications nationwide including TWICE, Sound & Vision, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Wired and Men’s Journal.

Repole said Toshiba is also using in-store displays for national chains playing up “the ultimate movie machine” message, and is arranging to deliver commercials for in-store demonstrations using Imperioli’s spot.

Software promotions will support growing player sales and express consumer appreciation, the company said.

Toshiba recently announced a new software promotion running from March 1, 2007 through July 31, 2007. Consumers who purchase any Toshiba HD DVD player can now get five HD DVD titles for free via a mail-in offer.

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