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Philips Launches Ambilight Ads

Atlanta – Philips Consumer Electronics has launched a holiday consumer advertising campaign that for the third-year in a row is focused on its unique Ambilight flat-panel TV technology, using national Internet, TV, print and movie theater vehicles.

Mike Gay, Philips marketing services director, said the campaign strategy, which this year has been code named “Designed for Movies,” stresses Ambilight’s benefits to the immersive movie watching experience in the home.

Gay said Ambilight, which offers rear-panel backlighting that surrounds the TV frame with a glow that is synched to match the dominant colors in the scene of the program, is “uniquely positioned to make movies look better.”

Consumer surveys, he said, revealed that movie lovers typically are interested in having a “transformative” experience from their home-moving watching.

For that reason, DDB, an Omnicom company, and Philips’ in-house creative team selected “David Banner and The Hulk” as the central character(s) for the TV, cinema and Internet spots.

Gay said the recent movie, which didn’t fare well in U.S. movie theaters, was popular in Europe and continues to deliver a clear message that resonates well with U.S. movie lovers.

Spending for this year’s holiday campaign was estimated by Gay to be about $30 million, up some $10 million from last year’s campaign.

The 30-second TV spots began on Oct. 23rd and will run eight weeks, through the second week of December. The TV ads are placed against national Primetime broadcast network programming, movies, news and sporting events, Gay said.

The cinema component of the campaign will place 30-second ads promoting both Ambilight with the Hulk and Philips’ Sense & Simplicity brand awareness messages. National CinemaMedia is handling ad placements at 5,500 theaters across the county, Gay said, targeting exposure to between 25 million and 30 million people. In addition, Philips will offer sweepstakes programs giving way products at select theaters.

The largest share of the campaign targets the Internet, Gay said. Starting this month, ads will appear on between 1,500 to 2,000 popular consumer Web sites, looking to capture the attention of potential buyers who use the Internet for their pre-TV-purchase research.

At the same time, the company’s public relations team has been assigned to encourage reviews of Philips’ products on the Web, and will ensure that “experts and opinion leaders are seeing our product and hopefully they agree that it is highly differentiated,” Gay said.

Philips has also taken steps to ensure that Ambilight products pop-up prominently in search engines, he added.

Special “interruptive” Internet ads, meanwhile, were developed to run on key lifestyle and movie sites, encouraging click-throughs, according to Gay. The ads use Hulk animations to play into the immersive home movie message.

In stores, Philips is relying on the help of its key retail partners, which this year include Best Buy, Circuit City, Sears and select regional A/V accounts. Dealers have been encouraged to display Ambilight products on showroom floors in a way that highlights the full sensory effect of the lighting technology. Philips is also supplying coop ad support and retail sales training.

Gay said the campaign will also extend to between 25 and 30 national consumer print publications. The campaign will use creative ad units including front-cover French doors, and “a lot of use of spreads and thirds to make sure the flat-TV message gets across.” Print ads will also tag key national dealer partners, Gay said.

Meanwhile, Philips continues to run its international “Sense & Simplicity” brand awareness campaign, which is separate from the Holiday effort.

On Nov. 5th, Philips bought up a majority of the ad spots on the TBS cable network’s national broadcast of the Oklahoma State versus Texas game. Similar to S&S past ads that used CBS’s “60 Minutes” and a national consumer magazine, Philips bought up air time and reduced the number of commercial interruptions to demonstrate its commitment to the “simplicity” message.

The football game project, which was called a “Time/Out Free Game,” offered a number of plugs Philips’ Sense & Simplicity, focusing prominently on its medical technologies.