By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Sony has launched a TV campaign promoting Bravia LCDs as the ideal choice for viewing sport, countering Panasonic’s recent pro-plasma marketing as both companies vie for a bigger slice of the growing big-screen flat panel market.

The central message of Sony’s new ‘Unbeatable Bravia 100Hz LCD Television’ advertising campaign will be the superior performance of premium Bravia LCDs, which incorporate its proprietary 100Hz Motionflow technology.

LCD TVs have typically suffered from slower panel response time than plasma TVs, which can cause fast moving images to appear blurred.

Motionflow digital processing technology, which was first launched last month in the company’s new XBR, X and D series Bravias, is said to compensate for this by doubling the number of frames on the screen at any one time and inserting new frames in the image, resulting in a smoother and sharper picture.

In a press statement released today, Sony senior product manager – visual displays, Graham Keogh, conceded that LCD technology’s suitability for viewing fast-moving sport has been called into question.

“LCD technology for viewing sport has received some criticism in the past,” said Keogh.

“However, with the introduction of our Motionflow 100Hz technology and launch of our ‘Unbeatable’ marketing campaign, we will prove to Australian sporting fans that LCD can deliver in every way they’d expect.”

The campaign represents something of a counter-attack to Panasonic’s recent TV advertising burst featuring Olympic sprinter, Matt Shirvington, which suggested plasma is the best technology for fast-moving images like sport due to its fast response time.

According to recent GfK figures, the big-screen plasma market appears to be making a comeback after record numbers were sold in June.

With this month’s Rugby World Cup and the 2008 Beijing Olympics being broadcast in high definition, the year ahead represent a significant opportunity for flat panel TV makers to boost sales, as sport-loving Australians have historically driven up sales in the TV category ahead of big sporting events.

With a focus on sport viewing, elements of Sony’s Unbeatable Bravia campaign will feature Socceroos star, Tim Cahill, drawing on the company’s partnership with Football Federation Australia.

The multifaceted campaign will encompass free-to-air TV and Foxtel, radio, online, press, experiential through Qantas Club and the MCG and point of sale material including screen bezels, ceiling hangers, standees, standing ‘toblerones’ and window transfers.

According to Sony, as part of the campaign, promotional and educational spots will appear on TV throughout major sporting calendar events such as the Socceroos vs. Argentina. For its Motionflow activity, Sony has also partnered with Foxtel as exclusive broadcast sponsor for the Hyundai A League, Rugby World Cup and a selection of ESPN programs.