Sony to spend $15 mil behind home PC intro

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Fujitsu backs notebook entry with $20 mil U.S. campaign

[new york] Sony Electronics will be "conservative" in ad spending for its fall launch of a home PC, focusing on computer and lifestyle magazines.

Sony is expected to spend $10 million to $15 million on advertising, via Winkler McManus, San Francisco.

"Our efforts will be visible but efficient," said Timothy Errington, senior VP of Sony Information Technologies of America, the new computer division. The product was unveiled at last week's PC Expo trade show here.

TV A DEBATE

"TV's really kind of a debate" because of cost, said Mr. Errington. Sony will plug PCs on its Web site and "will take a look at" buying placements on other sites.

Advertising will begin in September for two feature-laden home PCs aimed mainly at PC owners who want to trade up to a machine with Sony-quality video and sound. The PCs will sell for $2,000 to $3,000.

Mr. Errington said the Sony PC is the first step "to create nothing less than the complete home network of the future," tying together computers, consumer electronics and communication devices.

Shorter term, Sony may need to deal with a naming challenge: Ads will refer to the "PC by Sony." The real name is simply the model number, PCV-70. But many people may assume the name is "VAIO," which is prominent on the PC. "VAIO," short for Video Audio Integrated Operation, is meant to identify coming Sony devices that can be networked.

FUJITSU AIMS FOR TOP 5

Fujitsu PC, a new unit of the giant Japanese computer and electronics marketer now entering the U.S. notebook PC market, hopes to break into the top five in the U.S. with 5% market share in the next two to three years.

Bert Parekh, director of product marketing, said the top three Windows-based notebook sellers--Toshiba Corp., IBM Corp., and Compaq--are unlikely to change order, meaning Fujitsu will be taking on players like Packard Bell, NEC, Dell Computer Corp. and newcomer Hitachi PC Corp.

Fujitsu begins a $20 million first-year ad campaign in July computer publications, via Lai, Venuti & Lai, Santa Clara, Calif. CKS Partners, Cupertino, Calif., is handling a video, Web site and special projects. Fujitsu also is considering spot radio.

"It's a focus issue," said Daniel Yetso, manager of marketing communications. He added, "[TV] is not in our plans for the rest of the year" but "is definitely an option."

Copyright June 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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