By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: A GfK research manager has credited Panasonic’s recent plasma television advertising campaign as the main driver in the large sales increases plasma televisions enjoyed in Q3 last year. 

GfK research project manager Dennis Butler, author of the Sony High Definition Benchmark report, told that while the sector had seen a decline in Q4 2007 to approximately 95,000 units, down from 98,000 in Q3, the drop came after a large growth spurt as sales, as unit numbers rose from 71,000 in Q2 to just over 98,000 in Q3.
“Quarter 3 [results] coincided with a big, big push from Panasonic in advertising. Panasonic’s the main backer of the technology, and I’m not sure if that’s stopped [in Q4], or if it’s just a bump in the trend, but … the main reason behind that one [the sales rise] is the strong advertising, and it just maintained in quarter four.

Butler said the Panasonic advertising meant plasma sales rose a full 18,000 units over GfK’s expectations of 80,000 units for the quarter.

He also put some of the Q4 decline, the first since plasmas hit the Australian market, down to seasonal aspects.

“Televisions, and especially plasma’s, because they’re so expensive, they’re not really a Christmas-type product,” he said.

However, while plasma sales had cause to celebrate, LCD televisions still outsold them three to one, said Butler.