Pioneer Unveils Web Video Campaign

Pioneer Electronics announced on Wednesday the launch of a new Web-centric advertising campaign aimed at young male car and electronics enthusiasts.

The campaign, called “Disturb,” will include print ads that drive visitors to Pioneer Web sites featuring branded documentary-style videos celebrating the lifestyle associated with Pioneer products. The videos are designed to appeal to what Pioneer calls “Tuners,” 16-to 24-year-old males with a passion for cars and hi-fi equipment.

Pioneer plans to spend $3 million on the push, which begins in April with print ads running in music magazines Vibe, XXL, and The Source; mobile entertainment titles Super Street and Euro Turner; and men’s magazines FHM and Maxim. Each ad seeks to drive Tuners to one of four Pioneer Web sites: “Disturb,” “Defy,” “Disrupt,” and “Ignite.” The company plans to roll out each site in phases, beginning with “Distrub” at pioneer-disturb.com.

“The audience does not respond well to companies that use a hard-sell approach,” said Michael Townsen, a vice president in Pioneer’s mobile entertainment unit. “An effective marketing campaign must speak their language and offer valuable information. A little humor doesn’t hurt either.”

Designed and produced by Omnicom’s BBDO West, the “Disturb” site features feature Flash animation of cars cruising backed by house music from Pervelous P. Entertainment producer Davey C. Visitors can also view or download an animated short, titled “Headbangers,” that shows four friends cruising urban streets to heavy-metal music by Endo. Eventually, one teen, “Visor Dude,” decapitates himself by rocking his head to the music.

The “Defy” site is slated for launch on March 31; “Disrupt” on April 28; and “Ignite on June 31.

The Web sites include the option of emailing clips to friends, in an attempt by Pioneer to build viral buzz around the sites. The company said the campaign would go to lengths not to over-saturate a hard-to-reach demographic wary of most traditional marketing.

Pioneer made the Web central to the campaign to reach young men through their medium of choice, the Internet. While made for broadband users, the site has a dial-up option, unlike the recently re-launched Absolut site that’s only available to high-speed users.

In addition, Pioneer will distribute a guide to how to customize a car on CD-ROM to more than 500,000 readers of Primedia titles and at various spring break events in Daytona Beach, Fla. The guide, which allows a user to design his own car, will also be available online at umodify.com. Through the CD-ROM and site, visitors can design a dream car out of five models, choosing paint color, tires, suspension and Pioneer audio equipment. The guide will also link to the “Disturb” Web sites.

“We’ve seen online programs that allow women to see what they would look like with a different hair style or color,” Townsen said. “Now, for the first time, Tuners can see how a new set of Pioneer subwoofers or car stereo would look in their Honda Civic.”

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