WC: Sony ropes in Dhoni as brand ambassador, to splurge Rs 1 bn

MUMBAI: Consumer electronics company Sony India has roped in Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its brand ambassador, hoping to cash in on the cricket World Cup fever.

Sony will splurge Rs 1 billion towards marketing, targeting the World Cup that kicks off on 19 February.

The company, which has lost out to Korean companies like Samsung and LG in the Indian market, is promoting the full HD Bravia range that includes 20 models of DHTV, HD LED and HD LCD TV.

Sony has set itself a target of 40 per cent market share during the cricket World Cup season.
Sony India MD Masaru Tamagawa said, “Sony has chosen cricket to promote High Definition as it is the most popular sport in India and makes for a perfect platform to bring HD closer to our consumers. With our wide range of Full HD Bravia TVs, consumer can enjoy a very captivating World Cup viewing experience, right in the comfort of their home. We have chosen Mr. Dhoni as the face of Sony Full HD TV as we feel he will create the perfect synergy with our target audience during this exciting cricket season. We are leaders in HD. Dhoni is the leader and captain of the Indian cricket team. The Sony Dhoni combine is a strong fit."

During the World Cup, Sony expects 600,000 flat panel TV units to be sold.

"We are targeting sales of 250,000 units. This is the first time that the World Cup will be shown in HD. We expect HD TV sales to double for the industry,” said Tamagawa.
Dhoni will be promoting Sony’s ‘The Incredible Game in Sony High Definition’ campaign during the World Cup. This campaign will include more than 3000 TVC spots across 19 channels including ESPN Star Sports where Sony is a sponsor of the World Cup broadcast, print campaign across 36 top media and an outdoor campaign with more than 100 billboards across the country.

Apart from web promotions, a shop-front will also be an integral part of Sony’s communication campaign. As a special consumer connect initiative, Sony has announced a lucky draw promotion - 100 families who buy a Sony Bravia will get a chance to meet Dhoni.

The TVCs see Dhoni batting and taking a catch. One can clearly see the sweat dripping off his face as well as moisture on the field. The aim is to convey the fact that HD brings in greater clarity to the cricket viewing experience.

Dhoni said, “I am pleased to be associated with a futuristic brand like Sony. Cricket in HD will be the most incredible experience this season and through Sony, I would like to recommend this experience to our Indian audience. Sony, a cult brand has always offered excellent products and path-breaking technology to its consumers. It is now taking the HD phenomenon forward and I am proud to be a part of this initiative”.

Sony India has also associated itself with Airtel through a consumer promotion. It would offer free Airtel HD DTH connection on purchase of Bravia Full HD TVs. This offer will be valid from 1 February – 15 April 2011.

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