New Panasonic Campaign Attempts to Connect With Younger Consumers by Highlighting Brand Values

The new spot was unveiled at CES 2020

The campaign features athletes Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Lex Gillette and Sakura Kokumai. Panasonic
Headshot of Paul Hiebert

Today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Panasonic announced the release of its “#WhatMovesUs” campaign, which features Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky, Paralympic silver medalist Elexis “Lex” Gillette and USA Karate National Team member Sakura Kokumai.

In a video hosted on Panasonic’s website, with digital ads and social posts designed to drive viewers to it, the athletes are shown giving back to society. Phelps instructs young people how to swim, for instance, while Ledecky encourages students to participate in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Panasonic’s campaign wants to expose the more than 100-year-old electronics manufacturer to millennials and Gen Z consumers who might not have grown up with the company, which has transitioned from consumer-facing products to b-to-b offerings, but are increasingly counting on brands to provide leadership on social issues, said Lauren Sallata, CMO of Panasonic Corporation of North America.

Indeed, today’s consumers expect it. Panasonic data provided to Adweek reveals that the majority of people want brands to play a bigger role in society. Furthermore, 78% of U.S. millennials agree that global brands have a greater ability than the government to bring about positive change, while 73% say they’d be willing to pay more for a brand that took a stand on an issue they care about.

A recent Deloitte survey found that young shoppers will support a company that aligns with their values and core beliefs but desert one with practices and political leanings opposed to their own. All this comes at a moment when consumer confidence in traditional institutions remains historically low, according to Gallup.

Panasonic’s digital-only campaign, which was produced with MRM//McCann and is scheduled to run throughout the year, also showcases how the company is working toward building a better future through renewable energy technology and batteries designed for electric vehicles. The company currently supplies batteries for the latest Tesla Models S, X and 3. Panasonic has 3,000 employees working at Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 located outside of Reno, Nevada, the company said.

Beyond the campaign itself, Panasonic plans to donate funds to the Michael Phelps Foundation and Ledecky’s education program aimed at helping students explore careers in STEM-related fields.

Company name and campaign hashtag

a man shaking the hand of another man in a pool with a swim cap on

a somewhat dark classroom

@hiebertpaul Paul Hiebert is a CPG reporter at Adweek, where he focuses on data-driven stories that help illustrate changes in consumer behavior and sentiment.