Panasonic increases PR spend around launches

SECAUCUS, NJ: Panasonic is boosting PR spend for consumer electronics this year, including its new 103-inch plasma screen television.

SECAUCUS, NJ: Panasonic is boosting PR spend for consumer electronics this year, including its new 103-inch plasma screen television.

The world's largest - the size of a queen-sized bed - with a sticker price of around $70,000, the TV will get a media push aimed at placement on TV and events.   

"We are doing PR around television, because digital TV has some natural advantages for publicizing that," said Jim Reilly, director of PR within Panasonic's brand marketing group.

The company has not named an AOR in the US, but New York-based Peppercom handles the majority of their strategic product programs.  

Reilly said there has been tremendous interest in the TV. The first week of the launch netted more than 140 broadcast hits.  He said the target market is people with homes of 25,000 square feet or larger: 1 percent of American households, Reilly said.    

Reilly confirmed this is the most money Panasonic has spent on PR/marketing efforts in its history.

"Absolutely," Reilly said. "It's safe to say marketing resources in general are at levels increasing across the country." Maggie O'Neill, director at Peppercom said the agency is organizing an August event at New York's Grand Central Station featuring all of Panasonic's plasma TVs. 

"We have gotten the attention of the media as we have rolled this out, so Grand Central will be focused on consumer interaction," she said. 

The agency recently ran a press event at NY's Hotel Gansevoort, focusing on Panasonic's Lumix cameras. This fall, Panasonic plans a large PR campaign to launch its BLU-ray optical disk products.   

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