Renegade Sends Panasonic on Latino Tour

NEW YORK As part of a yearlong effort to reach Hispanic consumers, Panasonic has relaunched its “Save Your Summer” campaign with a bilingual twist.

A Los Angeles promotional tour, tagged “Dale vida a tu verano” (“Give life to your summer”), promotes Panasonic products to a Spanish-speaking audience.

The campaign, created by Renegade Marketing Group of New York, kicked off in Los Angeles June 7 and will continue through Labor Day, aiming to increase awareness of Panasonic products among 18- to 24-year-olds, particularly those in the Hispanic market. The added focus on Latinos in this summer’s promotion stemmed from Panasonic’s Hispanic television campaign that launched last fall.

“There are 35 million Hispanics in the United States,” said Drew Neisser, president and CEO of Renegade. “Research has shown that Hispanics are gaining buying power, and it’s a very good market for Panasonic. We also felt that it is a group that is under serviced. There are not many companies targeting Hispanics.”

The program debuted last year, when Panasonic partnered with Nintendo and focused exclusively on “gamers.” This year’s campaign aims at a broader audience and promotes more products, Neisser said.

Panasonic “Rescue Teams” will travel to different events throughout the summer via ambulances converted into “Fun Emergency Vehicles.” The five-person teams will offer karaoke and award participants a keepsake Panasonic DVD-Recorder disc of their performance. The FEV crews will also demonstrate Panasonic products, such as digital cameras, portable audio systems and plasma TVs.

Though Los Angeles will be the hub of the company’s Hispanic West Coast promotion, two ambulances will target English-speaking areas, according to Lara Bass, a Renegade account supervisor. A New York-based East Coast FEV will debut Saturday at a MetroStars Major League Soccer game, while a Chicago-based vehicle will travel throughout the Midwest. All three vehicles will turn up at a number of MLS games, in part because Panasonic is a league sponsor, Bass said.

The budget for the “Save Your Summer” campaign was unavailable. Panasonic’s 2002 ad expenditures totaled $34 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.