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Panasonic Starts 15-Market Product Tour in NYC

Part of $100 million media, promotional brand-building effort

April 4, 2011 By Nancy Klosek
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The highly trafficked Vanderbilt Hall corridor of New York City’s Grand Central Terminal was the venue Monday for the kickoff of Panasonic’s 15-city, six-week “Experience Amazing” Product Tour.  The event series, which simultaneously launched in Chicago and Los Angeles, is part of a multi-pronged $100 million media and promotional investment to drive consumer traffic and further raise so-called “unaided awareness” – marketing jargon for measuring the number of people who can show knowledge of a brand without prompting  – of Panasonic’s VIERA TV and LUMIX digital camera sub-brands.

The road tour portion of Panasonic’s total $80 million multi-pronged consumer-focused outreach in 2010 exposed 55,000 consumers across the country to the sub-brands, said Vic Carlson, vice president of marketing.  He added that the combination of aggressive advertising campaigns for both VIERA and LUMIX, Panasonic’s collaboration with DirecTV and CBS Sports in the 2010 US Open 3D broadcasts, and the Avatar 3D Blu-ray exclusive had all helped to boost unaided awareness of the brands ninefold and twelvefold, respectively, within a 10-month period last year.  “We’ve exceeded or surpassed competitors’ sub-brand names that have been marketed here for five to 10 years,” added Carlson.

Each of the 2011 tour venues will feature individual vignettes showing products organized around content versus segregating them by category.  “We’ve integrated with key channel partners for the tour,” said Carlson, and at each stop, consumers will be supplied with dealer lists detailing the locations of Panasonic retailers within a five-to-10-mile radius. The events are also being enhanced by special limited-time offers that add accessory product bonuses to the purchase of select Panasonic products.  Retail partners in each locality are also being encouraged to participate in the tour by bringing floor sales associates to the events for training purposes, he said.

Panasonic is also deploying around 3,000 endcap-panel upgrades within the next two weeks to those dealers who are using the current version. Each panel will feature six buttons that enable consumer interaction; when pressed, they start tutorial videos on topics including the VIERA plasma line, upgrading to home-theater-in-a-box sound, experiencing 3D, capturing 3D images on cameras and camcorders, Panasonic’s VIERA Connect connected-TV platform, and Panasonic products’ Skype capabilities. 

Besides the “Amazing” tour, four new VIERA and LUMIX TV advertising spots will roll out through the next few weeks – another part of what Carlson called a “commitment to long-term brand building.” Taglines are “It’s the picture quality that matters most” (VIERA) and “Life doesn’t have to stop for amazing photos” (LUMIX).

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