With a brand new LCD production facility poised to crank out the big screens in Japan this fall, Sharp Electonics is hoping to convince American consumers that their next TV purchase (especially the holiday gifts) should be a “true HD” 1080p. Sharp executives met with members of the media in New York this week to talk about the company’s growth and marketing strategies in the 1080p category. Bruce Tripido, Sharp’s entertainment products division director, says LCD demand has outpaced supply so far this year, but the opening of a “Kameyama 2” factory in Japan will help Sharp compete in what he calls a “three horse race” for LCD sales between Samsung, Sharp and Sony. “We’re challenged like never before, but we’re up for the challenge,” said Tripido.
Bob Scaglione, Sharp’s product and marketing group manager, outlined a three-part strategy to educate American buyers about the benefits of the highest-quality LCD screens available. The campaign opened with television and print ads promoting 1080p claiming “now the details have details.” Scaglione says there will be billboards in New York, Chicago, and LA this summer to keep Sharp’s Aquos brand in the minds of travelers.
Though Sharp executives believe the trend in demand will continue towards large screens (over 40-inches), they are shipping a 37-inch 1080p product this month, the LC-37D90U, which they say may particularly appeal to gamers, especially once Playstation 3 hits the market. Sharp also plans to start selling a Blue-ray disc player with a 1080p output in 2006.