Television has always brought families together but Panasonic has a hunch that its HD products can do more than just draw slack-jawed sofa potatoes into the living room.
According to a Panasonic-sponsored Harris Interactive survey 63 percent of parents would spend more money on technology if it increased family time. To test the theory (and to get its products in the hands of consumers before the TV industry switches from analog to HD in 2009) the electronics brand is launching its Living in High Definition program.
Together with the Center for Urban Research and Policy at Columbia University Panasonic will give 30 families $20 000 in HD products including a large-screen plasma TV camcorder and still camera and will ask them to complete monthly challenges that utilize the products. For example the Make Dad Cry in a Good Way challenge would require the family to work as a team to create and capture a touching family moment. Footage will be posted at livinginhd.com and Panasonic will foot the bill for Columbia researchers to conduct surveys to study how HD technology impacts the family unit.
“We realized it would be very informative for us to live with the people living in high definition because that kind of ethnographic insight will help us develop more customer-relevant products ” Bob Greenburg vp-brand marketing at Panasonic Corporation of North America told Buzz.
Families can enter for a chance to participate from now until March 2008 at livinginhd.com. Celebrity directors Brett Ratner and Kevin Smith will serve as judges and will select the 30 winning families. At the end of the program Ratner and other filmmakers will oversee the creation of a documentary film. In addition the Columbia University film school will help create HD Minutes—short how-to video segments that show consumers tricks and tips for shooting home movies and photos in HD.
To support the initiative four 53-foot mobile units will hit the road in September to visit more than 300 retailers and consumer events across the country. The Living in High Definition tour will run until January 2008. Agency: Next Marketing Atlanta.