RP&A Demos Plasma TV in High-Def Spot

LOS ANGELES Rubin Postaer & Associates’ first creative for Pioneer Electronics high-definition plasma television displays was made using high-definition technology and post-produced to serve two broadcast markets. The spot broke this week on both conventional TV networks and in a high-definition version with a wide-screen aspect ratio, for HD broadcast services.

The independent Santa Monica, Calif., shop won the Long Beach, Calif.-based Pioneer account in June. The plasma TV ads represent the second product marketed, the agency having produced spots for Pioneer’s DVD recorders earlier in October.

Nearly the first half of the 30-second spot presents a bikini-clad female surfing in slo-mo to natural ocean sounds. “That was a conscious decision on our part,” said David Smith, senior vice president and co-creative director at RP&A. “Males are definitely the target for plasma displays.”

From behind the picture, a knife penetrates the shot, with a realistic drop shadow of the blade causing a double take, as if someone behind the screen is cutting out a wide-screen aspect ratio portion of the image. The outside area peels off, leaving the characteristic 16:9 plasma display, as the voiceover says, “Where does reality end and PureVision begin? A Pioneer plasma display can deliver more than one billion colors, taking high-definition television to a whole new level.” The tag: “PureVision: Only from Pioneer.”

“The client asked us to not only create ads for exciting products, but also elevate the Pioneer brand,” Smith added. “They see the future of TV purchasing as going plasma, and even though prices are expected to go down, they want to establish themselves as the elite brand.”

“The best way to demonstrate the high-definition concept was by making a high-definition spot,” said Joe Baratelli, senior vice president and co-creative director at RP&A. “The spot is successful at getting attention because there is no music guiding the emotions. We’ve stripped away all the edits, and it’s a straightforward depiction, almost like watching a nature scene.”

Pioneer could not be reached for comment, but sources indicated after RP&A’s account win that billings for plasma-displays marketing could increase 50 percent to $12 million this year. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, domestic sales of plasma TV sets reached $515 million in 2002 and are expected to top $600 million this year.