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Panasonic Sets 15-City Tour, $100M Ad Push

SECAUCUS, N.J. — Panasonic
Consumer Electronics will
kick off a 15-metro area “Touch
the Future” technology tour on
March 15 as part of a marketing
and advertising campaign set at
close to $100 million this year.

Bob Perry, marketing senior
VP, online commerce and supply
chain, told TWICE the unprecedented
consumer tour and
ad campaign is part of a strategy
to “reposition [Panasonic] as a marketing-driven company”
to its retail partners and

The strategy is to “reach out
directly to consumers, creating
demand and getting consumers
to recognize our technology,
go to the store and ask for it.
We are going to work hard and
try to create a paradigm shift in
terms of the way we are seen by
our dealer channel and consumers,”
Perry explained.

The “Touch the Future” campaign
runs from March 15
through April 18, with three
tours running in three metro areas
each week simultaneously.

The “Touch the Future” tour will be of “CES exhibit” quality, Perry
said. “We are going to use a complete exhibit
of all Panasonic products, 3D TVs,
Lumix digital cameras, the entire array of
our products … talking to customers and
explaining to them the full lineup of our
products and demonstrating our products
capabilities. “

Panasonic will also be demonstrating
the capabilities of 3D video games during
the tour, and Perry said, “We will
announce, relatively soon, a marketing
agreement with a major gaming developer
for 3D. Video games displayed on our
3D TVs are an amazing experience.”

Demonstrations during the tour will be
conducted by Panasonic employees, and
Perry said the company hopes the tour
draws “millions of consumers.”

Panasonic retailers will be involved and
“will have the opportunity to coordinate activities,
set up dealer booths and displays,
and also talk with consumers. Event marketing
in advance will also be done to create
consumer awareness and activities with our
retailers in the 15 cities,” Perry noted.

Several retailers per city will be invited
to participate and “we will try to partner as
equally as possible with everyone. [Retailers] should talk to their Panasonic salesperson
on how to participate,” he said.

Dates have not been set as yet, but the
15 metro areas are as follows:

New York City/Northern New Jersey/
Long Island, N.Y.; Los Angeles/Long
Beach/Santa Ana, Calif.; Chicago/Naperville/
Joliet, Ill.; Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington,
Texas; Houston/Sugar Land/Baytown,
Texas; Washington/Arlington, Va./-Alexandria,
Va., Philadelphia/Camden, N.J./
Wilmington, Del.; Miami/Fort Lauderdale/
Pompano Beach, Fla; Atlanta/Sandy
Springs/Marietta, Ga.; Boston/Cambridge/
Quincy, Mass.; San Francisco/Oakland/
Fremont, Calif.; Detroit/Warren/Livonia,
Mich.; Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington,
Minn.; Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue, Wash.;
and Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, Ariz.

Perry noted that when the consumer
tour ends Panasonic will “continue our
media activities to drive consumer awareness
and demand as we get into the spring
and launch 3D TV.”

The nearly $100 million campaign includes
the previously announced $30 million
ad campaign for Lumix cameras and
will include TV, radio, print and online
ads, as well as social-media sites. “We will
be focused on driving both Viera and Lumix
[brands],” Perry said.

According to Perry, Panasonic is perceived
by retailers and consumers to make
“bullet-proof products, better than anyone
in the industry.”

But the challenge for Panasonic is that
“we believe the consumer understands
that but does not know the range of all
our technology and benefi ts. 2010 is an exciting
year for introductions, not only 3D,
but Skype video conferencing in televisions,
the introduction of even more exciting
Lumix products. So our sense is that
we are going to rely on being a technology
company and technology leader, but do
a substantially better job of getting that
message to our consumers,” Perry said.