The Beijing Games or the Panasonic Games?

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Panasonic have released details of their broad marketing campaign for Plasma and LCD high definition televisions, all set to tie in with the Beijing Olympics.

Panasonic, official partner of the Beijing Olympics, put on their own Opening Ceremony today to launch their new range of VIERA Plasma and LCD TVs. Complete with eight rhythmic gymnasts, a five-piece band and three of Australia’s medal hopes, Panasonic was looking to capture the spirit of the Olympics in anticipation of a major boost in pre-Games sales.

The marketing campaign looking to deliver this retail wave centres around these athletes and the high regard Australians hold for national sporting representatives. Speaking at the launch today were runner Matt Shirvington, swimmer Bronte Barratt and open-water swimmer Ky Hurst. Joining them via a video link was runner Tamsyn Lewis, who is in Berlin preparing for an athletics meet.

Australians have a great history of hero-worshipping our sports stars, with many making a seamless transition from the playing field to the set of an advertisement. Famous examples of this are Mark Taylor’s long association with Fujitsu and the sponsorship deals of leading NRL clubs with Samsung and LG. Part of the reason these deals are attractive is the esteem Australians hold for sports people – the best aren’t seen as just winners, they’re often described as legends, champions and geniuses. This is the crux of Panasonic’s new marketing campaign.

One of the mantras that will delivered to those enjoying the blanket television coverage of the Beijing Games will be “Built-In Genius”. This slogan looks to transpose the inherent natural ability – the genius – of our athletes, to the new range of Panasonic products. Whilst we expect Olympic athletes to be active and energetic, the genius of Panasonic’s new range lies in their perfection of the exact opposite – the VIERA link.

The VIERA link is a Panasonic initiative that synchronises Panasonic’s TV and AV range and places them all under the control of a single remote. Various competing brands offer similar features, but only Panasonic can market their range with the Olympic Rings. The association is intrinsic and reciprocal – Panasonic are broadcasting these Games entirely in High Definition for the first time.

Talking about the upcoming Olympic advertising campaign, Panasonic’s manager (marketing and communications), Gemma Lemieux, stressed that this worldwide event presents a unique marketing opportunity. “The campaign will be very broad; we’re not targeting any group specifically, everyone watches the Olympics,” Lemieux said.

There’s now less than three months until the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony. Once it begins, we’re all going to watch Panasonic-sponsored athletes running in a Panasonic-sponsored event broadcast in Panasonic High Definition and interrupted by Panasonic advertisements. For all this expenditure, they’ll be hoping we’re watching it on a Panasonic TV.

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