DeMartin: I think the approach of some brands was to go to the larger retailers, and generate volume immediately, and to some extent it backfired a bit. Best Buy is probably the best of the large retailers in terms of explaining features to consumers, but something like 3D, especially last year, needed to be explained to consumers and the smaller specialty retailers would probably have served better in doing that. They don't represent a huge volume of the industry's business, though. This year, you'll see clearly an emphasis on making sure the specialty folks have product they can sell and make money on, and that have the kinds of features like 3D that they can explain.
DEALERSCOPE: What do you plan to do to better educate the public about the benefits of both 3D and connected TVs?
Sanduski: Ninety percent of our 32-inch-and-larger televisions, irrespective of their being LCD or plasma, have some form of connectivity in 2011. So consumer education and in-store display are important. We're doing a couple of things. One, we've embarked on an advertising campaign. We launched one 30-second commercial in the April-May timeframe that spoke to connectivity with our Viera Connect system. Second, there's in-store education. We have a Panasonic 60-person sales and training team that is spread out across the country whose role is to spend their entire days visiting stores in their region to educate floor personnel about our connected TVs and make sure that the in-store setup is correct. The third aspect is that we've made a more-than-$10-million investment in in-store displays that talk about 3D and connectivity. The display has an added layer of sophistication this year in that there are six buttons consumers can push, with each starting a video that talks about a different aspect of the television. Prominently featured is a discussion of connectivity. They're being rolled out to about 2,000 storefronts.