2004: Panasonic – Channel 222

CLIENT:

Panasonic New Zealand –  Consumer Electronics Division

BRIEF:

The advertising objective was to educate the consumer on the benefits of the product (a recordable DVD) and the brand (Panasonic) so that the current and future association for the customer would be ‘Recordable DVD equals Panasonic DVD-RAM’.

We were specifically briefed to create a print and POS campaign.

CHALLENGES:

Recordable DVD was a relatively new category in the consumer electronics category.

At that time, consumers were confused, not only on the actual benefits of owning a DVD recorder, but also bt the perceptions of a looming ‘format war’.

Staff in the dealerships were either uninformed, or worse, intimidated potential customers with a mass of jargon.

Advertising campaigns by all players in this market were indistinguishable from each other, and didn’t even do a good job of selling the category, let alone their own products – it was clear we needed more than a mainstream ‘print and POS’ advertising campaign to break through.

SOLUTION:

We decided that the best potential market for DVD recorders were Sky digital subscribers, this audience was defined as those who ‘liked quality home entertainment and were willing to pay for it’.

Even though Sky had still not enabled ‘red button’, we decided that we should create NZ’s first interactive TV campaign, so instead, we brought some bandwidth, 24/7, for the duration of the campaign, allocated to Channel 222 on the users EPG.

The SMP for the campaign was ‘The biggest breakthrough in TV since the VCR’ – in fact we ended up using it as a key line in the campaign.

We had a challenging budget and very little was available for high end production values. We turned this to our advantage by setting up a ‘peoples revolution’ – a revolution where the general public had ‘had enough’ and were preparing to rise up against ‘appointment viewing’, storage problems etc

In the ‘tease phase’, we even had revolutionaries out on the streets protesting outside centres of the oppressive regime (Sony Style Stores & on the steps of NZ Parliament). These revolutionaries knew nothing other than to tell people to ‘join the revolution and go to channel 222’.

-Once it was decided to develop Channel 222,we had to draw Sky viewers to the channel.
As only Sky viewers could access Channel 222 all television spend was placed with its most popular channels. This was supported by a print campaign in Skywatch for the first three months of the campaign.
Radio was used via the “moments of truth” advertisements. Specific advertisements were created for times when people were missing programmes that are often recorded.

RESULTS:

Panasonic sold out of DVD-RAM models due to an unprecedented demand in December and had two record months for sales following the launch of the campaign.

Panasonic achieved 70 percent market share in recordable DVD sales since the campaign began and boosted sales by 69 percent.

“Channel 222 and its associated elements was very well received by all Panasonic dealers in New Zealand and comments of ‘the best campaign I’ve ever seen’ were commonplace,”  Grant Sandom, Product Manager – Digital Solutions, Panasonic.
Likewise, Sky TV also had a great deal of feedback from the campaign. ‘We’ve had a number of calls from people wanting to know what results Panasonic achieved and how they can do their own interactive television campaign,” says Richard Last, Director of Advertising Sales, Sky Television.

A contest on Channel 222 was run throughout the campaign to measure viewer numbers and encourage people to spend more time on the channel. A very simple iTV game was developed where participants had to knock down the on-screen blocks with a ball to reveal a word, then send in the word via a text message or email to be in to win a prize. This attracted almost 50,000 entries from less than 300,000 Sky homes during the campaign.

MY ROLE(S):

Strategy / planning; ideation; project management

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