Philips Consumer Electronics said it was looking to expand on last year's advertising and promotional campaign with a series of initiatives, most of which will appear this summer.
Philips declined to release the size of its advertising budget or the percentage of increase from last year. But Des Power, Philips' regional business management marketing senior VP, said the efforts would focus on two key areas — new Ambilight flat-panel televisions and GoGear portable A/V products centered on the youth market
In launching its Ambilight plasma TVs nationally on July 11, the company will present television spots playing up the unique rear-lighting system, designed to balance out the color and lighting of surfaces surrounding the screen with the lighting and colors presented in the onscreen image.
Philips said focus group studies found the feature produces a marked leap in the level of image quality perceived by viewers.
Philips is also engaged in its previously announced joint sponsorship effort with Best Buy for broadcasts on ESPN HD. A demonstration of the Ambilight display will appear in ESPN's coverage of the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby in July.
The Ambilight displays will continue to appear on ESPN HD's summer and fall programming, and Philips is the exclusive electronics provider to ESPN Zone restaurants around the country. (Philips video product introductions appear on p. 36, audio on p. 52.)
The new flat-panel sets will also be featured with other Philips products in the feature film "Ocean's Twelve," which is due for release on December 10. Philips is also "engaging in discussions with Warner Brothers about a possible retail tie-in for retail partners and consumers," said new Philips Consumer Electronics U.S.'s president Reinier Jens.
For the youth market, Philips is stepping up its Fusion campaign this year to include TV ads, music-festival promotions and an expanded portfolio of youth-oriented portable audio/video products that will be promoted for the first time under the GoGear name.
Philips launched its Fusion campaign last year and will continue to link up with extreme sporting events, including snow boarding and surfing, said Power. New GoGear print and TV ads will begin appearing in the third quarter.
The Fusion campaign's budget will be expanded by 30 percent to 40 percent, he added.
GoGear products include a trio of key ring-size flash-memory portables audio players, one of which incorporates a digital still camera and another that incorporate still-camera and MPEG 4-based digital camcorder. The youth-oriented lineup also includes two HDD music portables, or jukeboxes, one featuring 20GB memory and built-in encoder.