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 campaign will see Toshiba's first use of national broadcast and cable TV advertising since the late 1990s, 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.
Toshiba has signed Imperioli (who plays "Sopranos' " character Christopher Moltisanti) as "the ambassador of HD DVD and REGZA." Imperioli will be featured in the HD DVD print ads as well as REGZA and HD DVD TV commercials, 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. For REGZA, Toshiba's tagline is "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 ads were crafted to communicate how consumers "can see, hear and feel the REGZA difference."
"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. The 29-second REGZA TV spot will feature Imperioli "using bright and vivid kaleidoscopes, as he narrates the emotions one will feel."
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.
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.
An HD DVD TV commercial spot will feature Imperioli discussing "why Toshiba's HD DVD player is the right choice for the ultimate movie experience and the Ultimate Movie Machine," Toshiba said.
Two separate 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.
(For more details on the campaign, see www.TWICE.com.)