Sharp Sells Its Solar Staying Power


It's hard to believe -- particularly with the renewed interest in solar technology and solar company startups -- that the basic technology has been around for half a century. But with new competitors cropping up seemingly every day, electronics company Sharp has launched a new brand campaign touting its expertise and longevity in the field.

Through a television, print and online advertising campaign, Sharp is touting its 50 years of being in the solar energy business. The television commercial, which is running on CNN in North America and Europe, opens with a bright yellow background and the question: "What energy source has the power to change our lives?"

After showing shots of the sun rising, a voiceover extols Sharp's 50 years of developing solar technology, while images show solar-powered buoys, lighthouses and satellites. The spot closes with the same yellow background and the tagline: "Sharp Solar. The sun is the answer."



"Sharp has been an innovative leader for the past 50 years," Neal Lattner, Sharp's senior director of marketing communications, tells Marketing Daily. "And as the competitive set has been growing, we need to start branding our solar products."

The campaign is intended to reach three distinct but related targets -- consumers, who are looking to reduce their own energy costs and reduce dependence on non-renewable resources; businesses looking to do the same, while also reducing emissions, and utilities, which are increasingly looking to build solar-electricity farms, Lattner says. The intent is to convince influencers from those three groups that Sharp has been -- and will continue to be -- in the business for the long haul.

"There's a lot of solar companies that have come along in the past few years, and they're offering 25-year warranties," Lattner says. "Sharp is one of the few companies that have been around as long as those warranties."

The television commercial will be running on CNN ("We've found the news networks do best at reaching those influencers," Lattner says), while a similarly themed print campaign will be running in national newspapers like USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. The effort will run at least for the next four months, and possibly up to a year, Lattner says.

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