New Product: Oxyride Batteries

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The product: Panasonic's new Oxyride batteries with more power; for example, the batteries can produce twice as many digital photos as traditional alkaline batteries, the company said.

The problem: Challenging the leading market share of established battery brands Energizer and Duracell.

The solution: Craft a marketing strategy and media-buying plan that targets young battery buyers. Panasonic plans to use edgy creative along with viral and emerging media to reach 16- to 24-year-old digital-technology consumers.

The creative: The battery category may be a sleeper, but Panasonic's new hip supercharged marketing aims to literally wake it up with the Oxymites, eight sketchy black-and-white characters created by Renegade Marketing Group with names like Bully, Fighter and Narcoleptic, each with special Oxyride-enabled powers, to personify the brand. "Batteries are commodities in many ways, but they are also a very important element in driving new technology," said Tom Murano, Panasonic director of brand strategy. "Oxyride has to break through and get noticed by a young audience that really doesn't like being marketed to."

The media: OxyrideMe.com, home base on the Web for the batteries and the Oxymites, features games, prize promos and details about the Oxyride-sponsored "Up For It" Jason Mraz concert series on college campuses this fall. A TV commercial is also in the works, but even that will stray from traditional placement and only appear on late-night buys.

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