Cypress, Calif. - Navigation, upgraded Bluetooth capabilities, HD Radio and USB streaming of iPhone-app audio to head units are all getting JVC's marketing attention this year, but the company will focus on navigation for its next online viral-video campaign launching in the spring.
The third annual Turn Me On campaign, set for a launch sometime in May, will focus on the $1,199-suggested double-DIN KW-NT3HDT in-dash navigation system with CD/DVD player and embedded iTunes-tagging HD Radio.
The detachable-face satellite-ready nav system will be the first CE device to display news, sports and weather information over HD Radio from Clear Channel's newly expanded Total Traffic Network service, which previously delivered only traffic data over HD Radio, said Chad Vogelsong, marketing GM at JVC Mobile Entertainment. The service is free to purchasers.
The KW-NT3HDT is JVC's first nav unit with built-in HD Radio and first double-DIN product with built-in HD Radio. Other features include USB host port, embedded Bluetooth, and 400MHz CPU for quick route recalculation and faster 15-second nav-system start-up time after turning the car on. That compares with competitors' 35 to 40 seconds, Vogelsong said.
To promote the nav unit, JVC will team with "a pretty large rock band" that will appear in an online video accompanied by online ads and other forms of online promotion, Vogelsong said.
The video in the current Turn Me On 2 campaign featured two unknown bands - The Darling Stilettos and Charm City Devils - using JVC's in-car A/V and navigation products. The campaign included a Twitter campaign, Facebook ads, a MySpace page and the video, which appeared on the Web and video billboards, including JVC's high-definition LED billboard in New York's Times Square. The current video has been viewed 7.8 million times on the Web since its May 15, 2009, launch. That beats the first campaign's 5 million video views, Vogelsong said. The current video is hosted on Spin magazine's server to guarantee heavy traffic, he said.
Details of the third campaign will be announced soon.
Also as part if its 2010 lineup, JVC is:
--incorporating an "app" mode into head units for the first time to stream audio from USB-connected iPhone/iPod Touch apps, including Internet radio apps.
The feature is included in five head units, but the apps must be controlled from the iPhone/Touch. The units include the KW-NT3HDT in-dash navigation system and $219-suggested KD-R810 CD-receiver with two USB ports and built-in Bluetooth.
--expanding its selection of head units with embedded HD Radio to five from four with the launch of the KW-NT3HDT nav system and four other new in-dash CD-receivers, already shipping. The starting price for built-in HD Radio remains at a suggested $129.
--incorporating Bluetooth's Phone Book Access Protocol (PBAP) in all five Bluetooth-equipped head units, enabling the head units to read hundreds of contacts stored in a nearby PBAB-equipped phone such as the iPhone. Head units that store Bluetooth-transferred contacts in memory, in contrast, may not have enough memory to store all the contacts.
--adding Bluetooth easy switching for the first time to two head units, enabling users to switch between two Bluetooth phones without going through the pairing process. The feature appears in the $299-suggested double-DIN KW-XR810 CD-receiver and in one of two new double-DIN A/V head units, the $649-suggested KX-AVX830. All ship in mid to late March.
--adding an external app mode to five head units to enable streaming of Internet radio apps on a connected iPhone or iPod Touch through a USB connection.
--shipping in March two new double-DIN CD-receivers - the $199-suggested KW-XR710 and $299 KW-XR810 - to take advantage of demand from people who want to replace a double-DIN OEM head unit but don't want to pay for pricier A/V units or nav units. A/V units start at $499 in JVC's lineup.
The two satellite- and HD Radio-ready units were also designed with more of a factory look than their predecessors, thanks in part to large knobs.
Also in the 2010 lineup, JVC maintained its selection of double-DIN A/V units at three with the launch of the two new models, and it launched 10 replacement CD-receivers, including models in its specialist Arsenal line.
The opening-price head unit is a $79-suggested CD-receiver that isn't satellite- or HD Radio-ready and features front aux input and no USB port. It plays MP3/WMA discs.