CES: Harman Preps More Prime-Time TV in Ad War on Beats and Sonos

CMO Ralph Santana on the Audio Company's Big Marketing Ambition

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Harman isn't a standby in the mass media circuit. Get ready for that to change.

At the Consumer Electronics Show, Ralph Santana, global CMO for the sound equipment manufacturer, pledged that the company would become much more aggressive in marketing this year. Since the Pepsi and Samsung veteran joined in 2013, Harman has ramped up its ad spending, striking a major endorsement deal with the NBA in September for its JBL brand.

Harman will need a strong outing. It competes with heavy-hitting brands like Beats in headphones and Sonos in home equipment. "You're going to see a lot more prime-time media from us," Mr. Santana said during CES. "We're just going to be jumping out in culture in some ways that you've not seen in the past."

Rather than exhibit on the show floor, Harman seizes much of the Hard Rock hotel at CES, inviting only select clients and guests. Mr. Santana spoke with Ad Age about skipping the floor and his plans for 2015.

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