Vizio Rebrands, From Discount/Value To High End/Affordable

Vizio adVizio, the fastest-growing U.S. HDTV company, has shifted gears to focus its marketing--from discount and value to high end at affordable prices.

Ads touting technology and precision that began running during the Beijing Olympics are now airing during Monday Night Football--and soon, a variety of other high-profile networks and sites.

ONE/x, the Culver City, Calif. ad agency that created the campaigns, has also been working on other ad and marketing efforts. Keeping the strategy consistent with past projects, Jason Wulfsohn, creative director at ONE/x, says the ads will probably link to new product offerings. It could tie into the impending launch of sound bar, a surround-sound system for HDTV with wireless subwoofer that company executives began touting at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. The product aims to compete with products from Sony, Samsung and others.



"We want consumers to associate premiere audio quality, along with images, when they think about Vizio," says Wulfsohn. The latest Vizio campaign introduces the XVT Series, a high-end HDTV line and plays off the message that the brand changed the game in HDTV.

Shot in the Los Angeles Coliseum at night, the Diamond spot featuring LaDainian Tomlinson (LT) broke on ESPN's Monday Night Football last week. It depicts a play designed by LT showcasing his unique abilities. The visuals rely on a beam-splitter, a mirror system for filming, and wide-angle and long-lens camera footage to create a series of images as LT leaps to catch a pass and then blazes downfield, faking defenders out of their shoes and pushing headlong into the end zone.

The image begins with a close-up shot of the diamond stud in LT's ear. A voiceover says: "LT is fast--very fast. Fortunately, the pixels you're watching are fast, too."

Although the focus has turned toward technology, Vizio relied on humor early on to poke fun at the competition and itself. The first campaign emphasized buying three Vizio TVs for the price of one well-known brand. The electronics company rose to success on the back of that messaging.

The initial campaigns were created by Wulfsohn's previous company Jam Media. In June, Wulfsohn co-founded ONE/x--along with media strategist Ben Tiernan and former Chiat/Day Managing Partner Duffy Humbert--to support Vizio, creating a model for an agency they could take to market.

The efforts from Wulfsohn's former company and ONE/x helped catapult sales based on Vizio CEO William Wang's vision to create a great product at an affordable price. Last year, sales surpassed $2 billion --up from about $150 million in 2005, when Wulfsohn first began working with Vizio.

In North America, Vizio ranked No. 2 for Plasma TVs between April and June 2008--shipping 240,000 units and taking 21.34% of market share, according to iSuppli, El Segundo, Calif. It ranked No. 3 in the same region for LCD TV unit sales, shipping 562,000 units, or 8.95% market share--following Samsung and Sony, respectively, the research firm says.

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