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Toshiba to Air HD DVD Super Bowl Ad

25 Jan, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Toshiba Corp. will feature HD DVD in a scheduled Super Bowl XLII ad during the Feb. 3 telecast from Glendale, Ariz.

Jodi Sally, VP of marketing for the Toshiba Digital A/V Group, confirmed the Japanese consumer electronics giant will run the 30-second ad as part of a marketing strategy intended to reinvigorate HD DVD.

She said the spot would highlight the HD-A3, HD-A30 and HD-A35 players, which Toshiba recently cut the retail prices.

“It has always been our strategy to reach HDTV owners, using advertising on football games as just one vehicle,” Sally said. “If you recall, we had advertised on Sunday Night Football all season long.”Last year, the HD DVD Promotion Group sent a tour bus to Miami for the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears rain-soaked affair decked out with a mobile theater and sound system to showcase the HD DVD experience.

Widely considered the most important (and expensive) domestic marketing day on the TV calendar, high-def is playing a major role in the Super Bowl as the perennial media showcase not only will be telecast in HD but also represents a major marketing tool for sales of HDTV.

Many CE retailers, including Best Buy, Circuit City, Amazon.com, Fry's Electronics, Costco and Ken Cranes Big Screen Headquarters, are heavily promoting HDTV with Super Bowl specials that include a free Sony or Sharp Blu-ray Disc player.Fox TV, which is televising the game between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, reportedly charged $2.7 million per 30-second spot.

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) contemplated running an ad when a spot opened up at 50% the rate but decided against it when a Super Bowl-caliber ad couldn't be completed in time, said sources familiar with situation.Andy Parsons, SVP, industrial solutions business group, Panasonic Electronics and spokesperson for the BDA, confirmed the group would not air an ad.

“I certainly admire [Toshiba's] chutzpah,” Parsons said. “They can certainly choose to do as they please with their marketing. Running a Super Bowl ad is not likely to convince consumers that HD DVD will win the format war.”

Separately, Blockbuster spokesperson Randy Hargrove confirmed the No. 1 DVD rental chain — unlike last year — would not run a Super Bowl.Anheuser-Busch again is the leading Super Bowl marketer with a reported seven spots slated for broadcast.

Other brands airing Super Bowl ads include Audi, Bridgestone, CareerBuilder, Cars.com, Coca-Cola Classic, FedEx, Garmin, Gatorade G2, GoDaddy, Hyundai, Pepsi-Cola, Planters, Salesgenie, Sunsilk, Tide to Go, Toyota, Under Armour and Victoria's Secret.

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