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Panasonic Ads Pitch Plasma With Sports

Panasonic unveiled an expanded second-quarter advertising campaign that will use sports-centric TV spots designed to highlight the motion-resolution advantages of its plasma technology when watching action events, such as baseball games.

Bob Greenberg, Panasonic corporate brand marketing group VP, said that the scope of the company’s advertising initiatives over the course of the year will be comparable in size and budget to last year but he did not provide the actual budget number.

“There will be a lot more emphasis on channel partnerships this year,” he said.

Greenberg said the TV portion of the second quarter campaign will be centered on the catch phrase “the speed of sports,” to underscore plasma’s ability to resolve fast motion high-definition images without blurring, smearing or significant loss of resolution, unlike many big-screen LCD TVs.

Panasonic is using three different 15-second high-definition TV spots, which will start to air on Fox Sports Network beginning on Major League Baseball’s opening day. Each will use the voice of actor Christian Slater to give “a little bit different nuance about what makes a pitch a pitch,” Greenberg said.

In addition to the 30-second spots, Carol DiStaulo, Panasonic media services director, told TWICE the company bought an ad package on Fox Sports Network that includes “a lot of in-game features” such as high-speed replays that will be played back inside a Panasonic plasma frame, “to carve out unique positions for the Panasonic brand to make us standout from the competition.”

She said the second-quarter spots will be “all about sports, targeting sporting events on Fox Sports Net.”

In addition to the TV spots, the overall campaign will utilize online, print and radio advertising, Greenberg said.

DiStaulo added, “We are looking to partner up with the channel partners in helping to develop some programs that they are interested in and that we are interested in. There will be some co-branding opportunities down the road.”

Meanwhile, Panasonic recruited multiple spokespeople to demonstrate the attributes of Panasonic’s 2007 HD plasma sets, said Greenberg.

Campaign spokesmen include the following: Robert Verdi, design and fashion consultant to the stars; fashion photographer Douglas Dubler; Greg Anthony, former N.Y. Knicks star and ESPN TV analyst; Osi Umenyiora, N.Y. Giants defensive end; movie director Brett Ratner; and avant garde artist Robert Wilson.