Zenith intensifies efforts to secure lead in HDTV area

LINCOLNSHIRE, IL: Zenith Electronics hopes to beat its rivals to the top when it comes to owning the high-definition TV space.

LINCOLNSHIRE, IL: Zenith Electronics hopes to beat its rivals to the top when it comes to owning the high-definition TV space.

That's why the company has launched a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign pushing HDTV and Zenith's role in the development and maturation of the technology.

"This really is an ideal time to focus on HDTV," says John Taylor, VP of public affairs and communications. "There are some 500 stations around the country broadcasting digitally, and we will co-sponsor programs on ABC and CBS. The Zenith brand will be identified as the sponsor of those HDTV programs.

"Zenith is taking a lead role to become the ultimate authority on HDTV, and help consumers cut through the clutter."

The time is ripe for two reasons, said Taylor. First, the cost of HDTV sets has come down dramatically, from $10,000 in 1998 to around $800 today.

Moreover, networks are broadcasting much more digital content.

PR will play a vital role in making sure the public, press, and government are aware of Zenith's role.

The PR component entails outreach to the mainstream press, participation in industry events, and working with government bodies that oversee HDTV regulation, like the FCC.

Zenith is working closely with trade groups such as the Consumer Electronics Association and the National Association of Broadcasters, promoting HDTV at those organizations' events.

Zenith is going beyond the hi-tech press read by early adopters who have already embraced HDTV technology, and is reaching out to high-end consumer publications such as Home Theater magazine.

Zenith is working with various agencies on this campaign, including J.B.

Stanton Communications, Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates, and DigitalMedia PR.

"There are a lot of companies vying for this space," said Taylor. "Everything we are doing supports the overall goals of being branded as the digital leader. This is a space we want to own."

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