Multimedia Effort for Holiday Season

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NEW YORK ( -- Sony, aiming to own the high-definition market this holiday season, is launching a multimedia effort aimed at simultaneously educating consumers about HD and touting its products at the best in the burgeoning space.

“It’s a transformation idea, that Sony has yet again transformed the TV experience,” said John Hambrick, senior VP at Bagby & Co., Chicago, which created the campaign. “We want to get people excited to want to figure HD out.”

That is already beginning to happen. Jupiter Research estimates that the installed base of HDTVs in U.S. households (including integrated HDTV monitors and HDTV-ready monitors) will grow from 12% by the end of 2004 to 18% by the end of this year.

Lack of understanding
Yet one of the issues that remains with the technology is while more people are aware of HD, they may not truly understand it, said Jupiter analyst Joni Blecher. A campaign like this one from Sony that also attempts to educate consumers is needed at this stage of adoption, she said.

“They’re giving consumers the full HD experience -- of course, it’s all Sony -- but they're giving a realistic view. HD just doesn’t stop at TV, it’s audio and video [creation] too,” she said.

The campaign theme, “The world’s greatest high definition,” plays out variously in executions such as one that invites consumers to “hear the big picture” with HD audio, organize music and videos with its HD-audio DVD/CD changer, or tape and capture video in HD with its HD camcorder. Campaign elements include TV, print, Web, direct, retail and event marketing, including a series of clinics inside major retailers to answer consumers’ questions.

While there are no share figures on the HD market in general, NPD Group reports that Sony leads the LCD market year-to-date with a 34% dollar share. (LCDs are one of three categories that encompass HDTVs -- plasma and projection TVs are the other two -- but Sony does not participate in plasma TVs, and share figures were not available for projection TVs.)

Mr. Hambrick said the campaign crosses the spectrum of Sony HD products to showcase its unique breadth of devices, as well as sets the stage for additional products and packaging coming in the future.

“This first piece is all about laying the groundwork,” he said. “We start with TV, then layer on audio and start to set the framework for where you can go with HD.”

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