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Home Media Magazine

January 27, 2008


By Erik Gruenwedel

HD DVD may be looking to gain some yards. Toshiba Corp. will feature HD DVD in a 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 company will run a 30-second ad as part of a marketing strategy to reinvigorate HD DVD.

She said the spot will highlight the HD-A3, HD-A30 and HD-A35 players, on which Toshiba substantially cut the retail price.

"It has always been our strategy to reach HDTV owners, using advertising on football games is just one vehicle," Sally said. "We had advertising on 'Sunday Night Football' all season long."

Last year, the HD DVD Promotional Group sent a tour bus to the Super Bowl with a mobile theater and sound system to showcase the HD DVD experience.

Fox TV, which is televising this year's game, 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 the situation.

Andy Parsons, SVP of industrial solutions business group for Panasonic Electronics and spokesperson for the BDA, confirmed the group will 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."

Last year, about 2 million people bought an HDTV just to watch the Super Bowl, reported Sports Illustrated. The telecast was the highest-rated TV show in the United States with more than 93 million viewers, according AC Nielsen.
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