Panasonic Sees Gold In Summer Campaign


New York — Panasonic will promote its status as a leader in high-definition and digital cable-ready television products with a summer advertising and promotion campaign anchored by official sponsorship in the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
The company will use a series of national cable TV spots and print ads focused on four core areas: flat-screen TVs, multi-media digital cameras, three-CCD digital camcorders and DVD-RAM-based DVD recorders to underscore its key technology offerings.
The company used a media event at Madison Square Garden, where it will be a technology contributor to the Republican National Convention this August, to announce a new DVD recorder with the subscription-free TV Guide On Screen program listing service. Also unveiled was a third fully integrated “digital cable-ready” VIERA plasma HDTV set — a 37W-inch model, which will carry a $4,999 suggested retail price when it ships at the end of June.
The new “DIGA” family DVD recorder — model DMR-E95H ($899.95) — features a built-in 160GB hard drive capable of storing up to 284 hours of compressed standard-definition programming. It also features DVD-RAM and DVD-R recording capability. The addition of the TV Guide On Screen EPG will help users easily program recordings of favorite TV shows up to eight days out. The guide is also used in the DMR-E85H and DMR-E65S introduced earlier.
Other features on the new model include a new Direct Navigator, an onscreen guide that presents content stored on a disc in easy-to-review thumbnails.
The new 37W-inch plasma television joins the company’s previously announ-
ced. 42W-inch ($5,999) and 50W-inch ($7,999) models. Panasonic said the new panels offer a 3,000:1 contrast ratio; integrated speaker systems; a digital access with ATSC, NTSC, QAM and digital CableCARD capability; SD-card photo viewer; and multiple component, composite, S-Video and PC inputs.
Meanwhile, a Panasonic spokesman would neither confirm nor deny a published report in TWICE’s sister publication Multichannel News that the company would also be working with 10 major cable TV multisystem operators (MSOs) to launch an HDTV marketing effort tied to NBC’s August coverage of the Summer Olympics.
That effort, which is expected to be formally announced later this month, was said to be similar to the March Madness promotion run this spring with Samsung. The MSOs and Panasonic will pool resources on a media buy that will include both broadcast and cable ads for Panasonic HDTV sets. Local cable operators were also expected to tie into the program by offering consumers who buy a Panasonic HDTV discounts on programming, according to the report.
The Cable Television Advertising & Marketing association, which coordinated the Samsung cable TV effort, could not be reached for comment.
Panasonic brought former Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Keri Strug to its media briefing to underscore its Olympic sponsorship this August. At the games, Panasonic will provide Astra


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