Panasonic Unveils ‘Living In HD’ Part Deux

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In case you are keeping score, Panasonic reminds us today that its long-running “Living In HD” promotion is still, well, running.

It turns out that the promotion, which launched a year ago, has given a full suite of Panasonic digital products to 30 American families across the country and asked them to use that equipment to document how their lives and communities were impacted by it. In addition to leveraging the added brand awareness and the extra product exposure, Panasonic has been gathering feedback from the field on how its products are used and work in the real-world conditions.

Now, Panasonic said it’s looking for 60 more families to participate by 2009, on the way to eventually include a total of 100 families, who all get a veritable treasure trove of Panasonic digital stuff.

But it’s not exactly free — all the families are tasked with documenting in blogs, videos, photos and other forms of communication they choose what it means to “live in HD,” and the rest of the world gets to live each family’s life vicariously through their productions. It’s sort of your own reality TV show in which you are the producer and the star.

To date, the 30 participating families have provided ongoing feedback to Panasonic about product functionality, design concepts and how living in high definition has influenced how they think and use technology.

Panasonic said the next 60 families will step up to the latest company offerings, by living and interacting with a full suite of new HD products, including a 50-inch Viera plasma Internet-enabled HDTV, HD camcorder, Lumix digital camera, network camera, Blu-ray Disc player, Toughbook mobile computer, photo printer, home theater system and Nintendo Wii console.

To apply, candidates can visit the Living in HD program site at www.panasonic.com/livinginhd/register.htm.

In addition to getting a nice set of stories to use to promote its products to potential purchasers, Panasonic’s brand marketing VP Bob Greenburg said the company is using each family’s experience as an in-home life laboratory “to provide our research team with an expanded data set of product feedback to incorporate into future Panasonic product designs.”

As part of the expansion, Panasonic said it has re-launched the Living in HD Web site, www.LivinginHD.com, to include an introduction to all 30 families currently participating in the program, information about the suite of high-definition products given to the families to use as part of the study and an online mobile tour that allows users to virtually experience Panasonic’s HD products.

In the Meet the Community section, visitors can find out more about each Living in HD family and how their lives have changed since joining the study.

Each family is profiled and offers information from their personal experiences, including the product they have become most proficient at using, video moments they have captured with their HD equipment and ways in which the Living In High Definition program has affected their lives.

Over the next few months, the Living in HDWeb site will continue to expand to include more content from the families about how they are incorporating their HD products into their family vacations and summer adventures. One of the families — the Seamans of Gray, Tenn. — are about to embark on the ultimate summer vacation with a trip to the XXIX Olympic Games in Beijing.

Panasonic invited all families in the program to submit essays and/or videos about why their family should experience the Olympic Games in High Definition. Panasonic said it selected the Seamans due to their “creative use of video and explanation of how they will use their HD camcorder and digital camera to document their experience at the Games and then share it on the Living in HD Web site.”

In the fall, Panasonic said it is launching “the next phase of the Living in HD study” with a social-networking element on the Web site that will enable participating families to communicate with each other and with other consumers.

The Web site will serve as a forum for participants to discuss their experiences and offer tips to consumers about purchasing and using high-definition products.

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