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Sony Bows Major HD Push

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NEW YORK Sony Electronics seeks to own the high-definition space, right down to the DNA level, in a $100 million integrated campaign from 180 in Los Angeles.

The "HDNA" campaign launched on Saturday with newspaper, interactive and out-of-home elements. In September, three spots—one national and two local commercials that dealers can customize—will debut, along with efforts in Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone.

The initiative was unveiled last week at the Sony Style in midtown Manhattan by Mike Fasulo, CMO of the San Diego-based company, who said the campaign will run for at least a year.

A rough cut of the national spot shows NFL quarterback Peyton Manning in the announcing booth at a sports event pointing out that the professional cameramen use high-definition. He then moves to a family's living room and asks, "Why don't you?"

The push also features Manning, racecar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Sony Pictures' character Spider-Man. Asked about the all male line-up, Fasulo said future iterations could involve female celebrities or characters.

The two local spots, one with Manning and one with Earnhardt, show them running cable wire from the football field and racetrack into an HDTV store.

Print and outdoor will also emphasize that Sony high-definition products are similar to what professionals use. One for the Sony HD Handycam reads, "Shoot in high definition just like a network cameraman. On a Sony."

Interactive HD tutorials are planned for e-commerce site sonystyle.com, along with links to articles and product demos.

All ads for Sony HD products will now use the HDNA logo, which features those letters and a multi-hued DNA molecule

The overall effort is tagged, "High Definition. It's in our DNA."

"We wanted an approach that could tie all of our properties together," said Fasulo. "We need to remove consumers' fears over the issue of obsolescence."

Whether advertising for Sony's PlayStation3, which boasts a high-definition Blu-ray video player, will also carry the logo remains unclear. The PlayStation advertising account, currently with TBWA\Chiat\Day, is in review.

Omnicom shops BBDO and 180 split U.S. creative duties on Sony Electronics. This spring, BBDO launched a humorous campaign based around Sony cameras that showed what could happen if Sony's Eface detection technology was not used.

Sony is hoping to ride the increasing wave of people buying HDTVs. The Consumer Electronics Association, projects the number of Americans who own an HDTV will rise to 36 percent by the end of the year, up from the current 30 percent.

"With this campaign we're able to bring a campaign from Sony, as opposed to a lot of sub-brands," said Fasulo.