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Sony Begins Campaign for New Bravia Brand

Sony's new ad campaign to promote its HD products got underway last weekend with special inserts in Sunday editions of some major newspapers, including The Washington Post. The print ads are the start of a multimedia effort to regain some of Sony's once-formidable standing in the TV market, where it allowed itself to lapse in recent years when the rest of the industry (and consumers) were quickly converting to flat-screen technology (HD Notebook, Aug. 31, 2005).

The print ads promote the company's 42-inch Grand Wega LCD rear projection monitor (KDF-E42A10) for $2,000 and its HD DVR (DHG-HDD250) for $800. Sony is also re-branding many of its TV products, in effect, by replacing the Wega brand in lower priced items with "Bravia." Its 26-inch Bravia LCD (KLV-S26A10) goes for $1,500 and the 32-inch Bravia for $2,000. Also prominently featured in the 3-page foldout ad is Sony's HDV 1080i Handycam Camcorder ($2,000).

The first ad features a NASCAR vehicle with "Sony HDTV" emblazoned on its front hood, along with driver Ryan Newman wearing a "Sony HDTV" racing shirt. NFL quarterback Peyton Manning is also featured, although he wears no Sony HDTV logo.

Sony is also offering its own financing to consumers, including no-interest payments for up to 24 months. And it does some indirect competitor-bashing in its new ads, cautioning readers that "even the latest DLP televisions still use a spinning color wheel to create red, green and blue video images."

The ad also asks, "Are you only getting half the pixels? An Enhanced Definition (ED) television has only 460,000 pixels. So what you may think is HD is still less than half the pixels of true high-definition."

Facing a potential loss of nearly $1 billion in revenue in its TV business by the end of its fiscal year in March 2006, Sony is now mounting its largest TV ad campaign in 10 years.