PRICEY CD-RECORDER THINKS YOUNG: PHILIPS LOOKS PAST $599 PRICE TAG TO TARGET 18-TO-24-YEAR-OLD GUYS

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Philips Electronics is taking an unusual approach in ads unveiling its CD-Recorder home audio deck.

Ads for CD-Recorder breaking today veer away from high-end consumers to target males 18 to 24.

"By nature it's a younger product if you look at the CD penetration," said Ron Berger, partner and creative director, Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, which created the ads.

He said despite its hefty $599 price tag, the CD-Recorder, which allows consumers to produce custom CDs, should not be classified as a product for upscale consumers: "It's targeted toward a younger audience because of their appetite for music and the role it plays in their life."

MAY BE TOUGH SELL

But Jim Penhume, an analyst with the Yankee Group, said that may be a tough sell.

"It's a fairly high-end market," said Mr. Penhume. "It's become inexpensive enough to be fairly accessible, but it's still way too expensive and esoteric for most consumers."

Philips launched its CD-Recorder in December and ships a new model this month. Pioneer Electronics sells similar recordable CD devices. Some other big consumer electronics sellers have gone a different direction. Notably, Sony Electronics, which worked with Philips to develop the CD, pushes the alternative MiniDisc as its preferred recordable audio disk product.

TV ads will run on broadcast and cable networks, including MTV. One execution shows a man running through a storm before creating a CD featuring various songs about rain. Print ads in music- and youth-oriented magazines will support.

`REVOLUTIONARY' TAG

The tagline: "The revolutionary new way to make a CD as unique as you are." The ads also use Philips' global theme line, "Let's make things better."

Messner is working on a larger-scale campaign to be launched this fall, positioning Philips as an innovative, cutting-edge company. That campaign is slated to showcase a variety of products, including a flat-panel TV.

Contributing: Beth Snyder.

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