Sharp To Heavily Advertise New 65-inch Flat Screen

Sharp plans to heavily promote its new 65-inch Aquos LCDs in the United States, something it has not done very much, to date, although it sells the most LCD flat-screens globally. The Japanese firm realized it had a problem when a survey revealed that many Americans could only name one TV brand--Sony.

Sharp was a bit late in realizing that the United States was beginning to purchase flat-screens in
increasingly significant numbers, spurred on in recent months by an unexpected price war, according to The Wall Street Journal. Sharp was selling several of its larger LCD models in Japan nearly a year before shipping them to the U.S. and other countries outside Asia.

Sharp has hired unorthodox ad firm Widen + Kennedy of Portland, Ore., to push its Aquos. Along with trying to foster brand loyalty (something that Sony has enjoyed worldwide for many years), the ad campaign will have another challenge: trying to convince prospective HD LCD flat-screen owners to cough up somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 for a new TV set that will likely be 2-3 times larger than its current set, and several times more expensive (HD Notebook, June 8, 2005).

Sharp plans to introduce its huge 65-inch Aquos LCD flat screen in August in Japan, with a U.S. entry currently geared for the big holiday season in late fall.