Philips FlatTV catches their attention at every twist, turn and dip. It also captivated consumers dazzled by the futuristic look of FlatTV. In fact, it has come to personify Philips Electronics' brand.
"It really helped our image tremendously," says Ed Volkwein, senior VP-global advertising for consumer electronics. "FlatTV is an icon of what we'd like to stand for."
Launched in the fall of 1998 at a retail price of $15,000, and now selling for $10,000, FlatTV symbolized everything Philips wanted its brand to become in North America -- cutting-edge, innovative, an icon of the digital future and Philips' leadership role in it.
With agency partner Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, Mr. Volkwein orchestrated a $100 million marketing effort that included high-profile TV and print media, new packaging and digital product collateral material.
Sports and entertainment sponsorships, along with a slew of product placements, figured prominently in the mix and were handled by Norm Marshall & Associates, Los Angeles. The FlatTV appeared in the theatrical "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" and several network TV shows.
FlatTV is also installed in executive boxes at the Philips Arena in Atlanta to capitalize on the marketer's sponsorship of the sports stadium.
Though he declined to share sales figures, Mr. Volkwein says Philips has sold thousands of FlatTVs.
"Fairly famous people call up and say, `Can you cut me a deal?' . . . studio heads, financiers, it's amazing," he says, but he's not going to name names.
Last year, after CNN Style host Elsa Klench featured the product in her reports, Mr. Volkwein recalls a New Yorker in Paris spotted the report and called her decorator demanding, "I want two of those."