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CEDIA 2008: Pioneer Launches New Branding Campaign

Denver — Pioneer revealed at CEDIA Expo here Thursday the second leg of its fully integrated global advertising campaign behind its project Kuro strategy, this time using the same disruptive imagery style to convey the cutting-edge nature of the company’s products and technologies, but this time embracing home theater components in addition to Kuro plasma sets.

The mission of the expanded effort, according to Russ Johnston, Pioneer marketing and product development senior VP, is to continue to “reposition ourselves for the premium space and get us out of the commoditization that is going on in the [flat-panel TV] category.”

The campaign, which was created by TBWA\Chiat\Day of Los Angeles, launched Sept. 28 and is planned to run through March.

This time the effort focuses on the concept of “transformation,” using images of Pioneer product users transforming into the images they are watching on their plasma screens or listening to on the home theater components.

TV spots in the campaign will run on national cable channels, including ESPN, and will consist of three spots focused on new Kuro plasma products (9G modes) and one spot that will target Pioneer home audio and Blu-ray Disc players.

Pioneer said its media choices reflect the interests and preferences of “discerning entertainment junkies” who prioritize great entertainment in their upscale lifestyles. Television includes cable and ESPN college football; print includes Esquire, Men’s Health and Wired; and online include enthusiast sites as well as Google and Yahoo.

The campaign will also be incorporated into the Kuro dealer promotions, and unique flash animations of the transformations will be added to the Pioneer corporate Web site.

Spots will use the same stark and edgy black, white and silver look used in last year’s Kuro advertising spots, and will include images of a viewer transforming into a rose in one spot, a race car in one spot, a butterfly in another spot and a French horn in the last spot, which focuses on Pioneer’s A/V receivers, Blu-ray Disc players and EX speakers.

 “We are not using the ads to communicate the technical attributes of the products, but rather the emotional experience you get from using this equipment in your home,” Johnston explained, adding that the spots will refer consumers back to the pioneer www.seeingandhearing.comWeb site to get the details on the product features and specifications.

Johnston said Pioneer is expanding the global nature of the ad effort this year, and is planning to reach Japan, Europe, Asia, Latin America and the United States. The overall budget is slightly less than the kickoff effort last year, he said.

“Pioneer has embraced the 360-degree approach to their business and the theme of transformation could not be more appropriate at this time,” stated Lee Clow, TBWA\Chiat\Day chairman and chief creative officer. “Our goal this year is to take the brand from merely connecting people’s senses and emotions to their favorite entertainment, and illuminate the concept that great entertainment literally changes people and engulfs them in a world where technology drops away and only the wonder, beauty and thrill of entertainment remains. The power of this home theater experience is literally being woven into the campaign.”