Toshiba yesterday announced a year-long integrated campaign that will run via ESPN’s properties and include a social media support push. Targeting 18- to 35-year-old males, the electronics brand will mostly use 30-second commercials on the flagship ESPN channel. Spots will also appear on ESPN2 and sister network ABC’s college sports coverage.
Ron Smith, VP of marketing for Toshiba’s digital products division, said there were two different commercials in terms of creative, one for the brand’s HDTVs and the other for laptops. “But they take the same [messaging] approach,” he explained.
Fifteen-second versions of the commercials will appear on the Web site of ESPN’s daily SportsCenter program, in rich media display ad units. Also tying the broadcast to the Web push will be a Toshiba-sponsored “Innovative Play of the Week” poll/contest during SportsCenter’s Sunday airing. TV viewers will be encouraged to visit SportsCenter.com and ESPN.com to vote for nominated plays and enter a weekly sweepstakes contest that gives away various Toshiba products. Later on, they will vote for the “Innovative Play of the Year” and enter a contest with grand prizes such as a trip for two to ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, CT, as well as a handful of higher-end electronics from the brand.
Social media will also factor into Toshiba’s campaign. For instance, the commercials/videos and the contest details will appear at the brand’s YouTube channel and Facebook “fan” page. And via Twitter, staffers will tweet the same details while directing “followers” to the YouTube channel, the Facebook page, and relevant Toshiba Web sites.
Meanwhile, the one-year commitment appears to rekindle a relationship between the two brands, which reportedly hadn’t worked together materially since Toshiba spent nearly $1 million advertising via ESPN in 2007.