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Sony Goes Green; Launches $100M Marketing Campaign

New York — Sony unveiled a more than $100 million integrated marketing campaign, called “HDNA – High Definition. It’s in our DNA,” at a press conference here Thursday.

At the same time, the company said it will implement the “first nationwide electronics recycling program” in association with WM Recycle America, a wholly own subsidiary of Waste Management.

The program, which begins Sept. 15, will establish recycling centers in all 50 states by the end of the year, and will build up to over 150 sites by this time in 2008, said Stan Glasgow, Sony Electronics president/COO. Eventually, Glasgow said, Sony plans to have sites located within 20 miles of every U.S. household.

The HDNA campaign will feature Peyton Manning of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Spiderman from the Sony Pictures movies.

It will extend across multiple product categories and will employ television, print, radio and interactive Web spots. In addition to covering Bravia HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc players, digital cameras and notebook computers, the HDNA effort will cross into the products of other Sony sister companies including motion pictures, television production, music and video gaming.

“The term HDNA not only sends a powerful message to consumers, it is also very inspiring,” said Sony Electronics chief marketing officer Michael Fasulo. “It also reminds customers that high definition is the core and the essence of Sony as it creates all of our high-definition products.”

At the heart of the campaign is an “HDNA” logo surrounded by graphic molecules that symbolize DNA strands and the concept of HD knowledge transfer. The copy in every ad includes the line: “High definition. It’s in our DNA.”

He called the effort the largest integrated marketing campaign in the history of Sony Electronics, exceeding the spending budget of the 2006 campaign by more than 10 percent.

The campaign kicks off this weekend and ramp up in September, running through the balance of Sony’s fiscal year, which ends in March 2008.

But rather than measuring the campaign by months, Fasulo said the impact of the HDNA effort is expected be measured by years.

The television ads will run both nationally and locally, with the latter tying in a number of Sony’s regional retail partners. The national spots will run on CBS broadcasts and cable TV, Fasulo said.

The total campaign will offer “more than 30,000 elements that our retail partners can also participate in with us,” Fasulo continued.

Regional dealers participating in the local TV ads include hhgregg’s, Sears, Boscov’s, P.C. Richard & Son, Conn’s, Vanns and others.

“As we looked to develop this exciting new campaign and approach to marketing for Sony Consumer Electronics, we wanted a program that could tie all of our products together and create excitement around what we know are the best high definition products on the market,” Fasulo continued. “We wanted to show our full commitment to consumers and our leadership in this position of creating world class and unrivaled high-def products.”

The campaign was also developed to help remove fear from consumers about technology and obsolescence, he said.

Meanwhile, Glasgow called the “Sony Take Back Recycling Program” an act of social responsibility on Sony’s part as a leader in the consumer electronics industry.

“I think when you are a leader as a company … there is a responsibility in that leadership to do the right thing for the communities you operate in, to the employees you have and to the consumers you sell to,” Glasgow said. “We’re going to try to continue with programs to enhance what Sony is doing in a social way for customers.”

In selecting Waste Management to operate the program, Sony said it worked very hard to select the best possible company run the program.

Glasgow said Sony customers will be given a free and convenient way of disposing of old Sony-branded products. It will also accept other brands of electronics products for an undisclosed fee.

He said the company expects to learn from the exercise and pioneer a course for national recycling that can be emulated by others in the industry.