Panasonic Hinges Multi-Product Campaign on Plasma

When Panasonic recently chose Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners as its new agency, it said it had looked for a partner that could fulfill its “every point of contact” (EPOC) criteria. Now that media-agnostic philosophy is being tested as KP+B rolls out its first campaign for the client.

“We wanted to find an agency that seemed to be well versed and experienced in working in all the elements, and was able to work with other [agencies] to provide services and capabilities [when necessary],” said Gene Kelsey, VP of brand strategy group at Panasonic Consumer Electronics.

The partnership’s initial campaign focuses on pairing the brand’s plasma TVs with other consumer electronic products. Though Panasonic’s market-leading line of plasma TVs are in the spotlight, a secondary message communicates how the TV acts as a gateway to other media like photos, home video and art. One creative demonstrates how an SD card with photos can be read directly by the plasma set, for example.

“It’s mostly focused on the plasma. The impression we want to give is a two-level story,” said Kelsey. “One is about the plasma at the center of the HD lifestyle, and how it’s related to all the things you can use to enhance the experience. At the same time we highlight the products you can use as well.”

Initial media buys include online placements Yahoo Tech, where Panasonic is one of three charter sponsors; on CNET; on NYTimes.com and on USA Today’s online sites. Kirshenbaum’s Media Kitchen handled the media buying for the campaign.

Each creative execution points to a site tied to the campaign which is also easily accessed through Panasonic’s front page. The site, developed by Renegade Marketing in conjunction with Kirshenbaum Bond, is reminiscent of the creative used in the print, Web and TV placements, according to Kelsey. It centers on the plasma display, with information on how it can be used for other applications like a photo album, home video, art gallery and home monitoring system. It also discusses the benefits of a high-definition TV set and the product’s ability to sync with a home theater setup.

The campaign will be most heavy through the end of June, with lighter coverage over the summer months. Kelsey said that Panasonic recognizes the spring as a peak time to promote electronics. Graduations, vacations and extra outdoor time in nicer weather lend themselves to cameras and video cameras. The timing also works for televisions, especially HD sets, due to the occurrence of key sporting events like the Stanley Cup, NASCAR, India 500, NBA and the World Cup.

“There’s a lot of interesting key television opportunities here to promote product around,” Kelsey said.

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