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LG Goes Broadway With Branding Effort

LG Electronics staged a media event in Times Square to unveil an electronic billboard which it called the “brightest, largest and most technologically advanced interactive screen in Manhattan.”

The billboard represented part of a three-year $300 million U.S. ad campaign, which includes sponsorships of key events across the country, such as the re-opening of the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles — to be renamed the Wiltern LG Theater. Other sponsorships include a five-year advertising campaign with the LG Action Sports Championships for skateboarding, freestyle BMX, Motocross and inline skating, the Sundance Film Festival and an LG action sports show in the Fremont Street experience in Las Vegas.

T.J. Lee, LG Electronics U.S. president, said the effort is expected to make LG one of the best known brands in America for mobile handsets, appliances and consumer electronics products.

The New York media event was also used as a formal coming out celebration for the high-end LG electronics brand, which launched last summer as a premium line of digital display devices, and is being extended to high-definition source components.

The LG brand targets primarily A/V specialty store and custom installation accounts, and will be used as the launch brand for new digital technologies.

The Zenith brand, Lee vowed, will remain important to LG for many years to come. In the new dual-brand strategy, Zenith is being repositioned as a volume line that will bring “more mid-range” digital and analog A/V products to mainstream distribution channels.

Lee said the company’s branding efforts behind advanced mobile handset phones and appliances, have “already made significant progress in both mind share and market share in the United States.”

“As a result, by the end of next year we expect to be the No. 3 player, globally in mobile phones. And by the end of 2005, we are projected to be the No. 3 player globally in appliances,” Lee continue.

The company currently claims No. 1 market-share status in global CDMA handset sales and number one in room air conditioner sales, he said.

With 55,000 employees globally and $29 billion and growing in annual revenue, “we are the digital-display industry player best-positioned to serve the broadest spectrum of consumer needs across these two brands,” Lee said.

At the event, LG also unveiled a 76W-inch plasma display, which is expected to arrive in the U.S. in 2005. The company said the panel is believed to be the current world’s largest plasma display.

Lee said LG will open next year in Korea the world’s largest plasma manufacturing facility, capable of producing 75,000 PDPs a month, and “giving LG the greatest global display presence in the world.”