Panasonic Hypes Tour with Consumer Demo Films - Event Marketer

Panasonic Hypes Tour with Consumer Demo Films

Panasonic Living in HD Mobile Tour Launch
Brand: PANASONIC
Agency: NEXT MARKETING
Awards: EX AWARDS — BEST MOBILE MARKETING PROGRAM
Year: 2008

This is a big year for television brands. Screens are going paper-thin. Stations are going HD. And what was once a slack-jawed, one-way viewing experience is going hands-on, user-gen and highly interactive. To carve out a chunk of brand equity in this fast-changing marketplace (proprietary research showed that consumers are just starting to form their brand preferences) Panasonic launched a 900-stop national tour that brought its full suite of HD products to life. The premise? Panasonic HD products make TV time family time.

Before the tour hit the road in September 2007, the brand stirred the pot with a contest that gave 30 families $20,000 in HD equipment and asked them to complete monthly challenges that utilized the products. In addition to the video and photo projects the families submitted, Panasonic posted footage of the families opening up the products and using them for the first time, then supplemented the films with tips and product information.

The 13-month Living in High Definition tour launched a month later, making stops primarily at retailers, but also at family-friendly venues like fairs and festivals. Four custom-built rigs, including a 53-foot flagship truck, toured the country, making two-day stops that included pre-show press tours, early morning sales training and all-day consumer events.

Once inside the mobile HD mecca, consumers were invited to grab an HD camcorder or still camera, shoot video and take snapshots and then plug the tiny SD memory cards right into any of the 15 plasma HDTVs on display, including a 103-inch plasma TV (a great p.r. hook and foot traffic generator). Consumers got to keep the SD card with their photos or video and every visitor received a coupon for a $200 rebate on installation or delivery.

Showcasing how all of the products work together is a challenge at retail because products tend to be spread throughout the store. Not only did the tour obviate the challenge, data collection on the road proved the concept delivered results. Eighty-eight percent of visitors said they would probably or definitely buy a Panasonic—a 21 percent increase over the pre-experience response. Sixty percent reported making a purchase within 30 days of attending the experience. And ninety percent of visitors opted into Panasonic’s e-marketing program—a coup that poises Panasonic to leverage its tour experience to take a leadership position when the industry goes from analog to digital in February. We don’t know about you, but after seeing that 103-inch plasma, even if we could keep our old TVs next year, we’d still want an upgrade.

“In terms of sales impact, [the tour] has had a positive impact on sell-through for the days when we held an event, so we’ve been very happy and fortunate with those results,” says Rey Cruz, director-co-marketing at Panasonic.

The LIHD tour was such a success that all four trucks have been rebranded and sent back out on the road to promote Panasonic’s new HD Olympics campaign. Way to strike while the iron’s hot, Panasonic.

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