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Best Buy, Vendors To Launch Ultra HD Awareness Campaign

Minneapolis — Best Buy, in concert with LG, Samsung and Sony, will kick off a comprehensive 13-week consumer awareness campaign to help drive Ultra HD TV adoption beginning this Saturday.

Additional vendors are expected to join the Ultra HD initiative in the coming weeks.

The effort, dubbed “Believing Begins Here,” was developed with input from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and will include Best Buy-driven TV ads, digital marketing, buyers’ guides and educational videos.

But the centerpiece of the program will be in-store demonstrations at 50 Best Buy locations in 11 major markets nationwide, to be held each Saturday from Aug. 9 through Nov. 1 at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Initially, field market teams from LG, Samsung and Sony will variously conduct the interactive tutorials, along with specially trained Blueshirt associates.

Best Buy TV merchant director Luke Motschenbacher said a key focus of the demos will be the ability of the Ultra HD sets to up-scale 1080p content to near 4K quality. “We’re educating customers to the fact that they can buy with confidence now,” he told TWICE, and have a future-proof product in place when native content becomes more plentiful.

The Saturday sessions will be complemented by a running schedule of manufacturer promotions and in-store sweepstakes. The latter will include prizes ranging from Best Buy gift cards to an LG, Samsung or Sony 55-inch Ultra HD TV replete with installation and a Geek Squad service plan.

Motschenbacher said the campaign leverages Best Buy’s recently remodeled home theater departments, which number 500 Samsung A/V shops, 350 Sony Experience sections and separate showcase displays for LG models, along with soundbar and loudspeaker listening stations and a dedicated accessories area.

Additional vendors are expected to join the program by early fall, he said.

According to Best Buy spokeswoman Lisa Hawks, the campaign’s participants are investing in the program jointly, and utilized guidelines developed by a CEA communications working group to help present a consistent consumer message.

CEA has been an active proponent of Ultra HD, and has worked behind the scenes and in the field to educate both consumers and retailers about the benefits of the advanced display technology. Jeff Joseph, CEA’s communications and strategic relationships senior VP, lauded Best Buy for lending its national footprint to the effort, and said the added participation of multiple manufacturers “underscores the industry’s commitment to the category” and the momentum it’s enjoying.

Hawks said the campaign’s launch was timed to the start of the football season, with college games beginning Aug. 28 and the NFL season kicking off on Sept. 4. Targeted markets include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.

She added that the awareness initiative, in combination with “dramatic” price drops, will help make Ultra HD TV a key category for the football and holiday seasons.

Indeed, Stephen Baker, industry analysis VP for the NPD Group, observed during TWICE’s recent “Christmas In July” webinar that Ultra HD TV is already poised to exceed holiday expectations. “We have no doubts that UHD/4K will be extremely successful and add significant revenue to a TV market under pressure,” he wrote in a follow-up blog.