Ad Wars: Selling HD on Analog Screens

One of the more obvious drawbacks of trying to impress consumers with HD images is that most people are still viewing ads on analog sets. Panasonic is ramping up its latest plasma TV campaign this week to concentrate more on what consumers can do with their HD displays once they go out and buy them, rather than the technical superiority of the images and audio themselves.

The premiere campaign for the Panasonic brand (Matsushita) by ad agency Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners of New York, according to published reports, comes at a time when the consumer electronics manufacturer is trying to retain its tenuous lead among plasma TV makers in the American market.

Competition for flatscreen consumers has been especially stiff in the past year. Samsung has taken on Panasonic in the plasma market, and in tandem with Sony, both firms are attempting to gently prod consumers to other technologies such as LCD (which seems to continue reaping benefits from being lighter and thinner than plasma units of the same screen size). Prices, however, are matching up more closely this year between plasma and LCD.

The plasma ads from Panasonic show consumers viewing 58-inch monitors from different angles, almost as though they were participating in the on-screen action. Voiceovers are performed by actor Christian Slater. Panasonic will unveil another HD ad campaign soon when it starts offering its Blu-ray DVD players, currently targeted for June 22.