Texas Instruments Bows New HD Promotion

Chip-Maker's $100M Campaign Looks Beyond Microscopic Mirrors to Sports Programming


Texas Instruments

formally announced a $100 million advertising campaign Tuesday to promote its DLP (Digital Light Processing) high-definition display technology. The campaign will run on ESPN’s Monday Night Football and college-football telecasts, ABC’s college-football broadcasts and the two networks’ broadcasts of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing’s Nextel Cup series.

TI -- which already sponsors a NASCAR car under the DLP brand -- is using the integrated marketing campaign to tout the advantages of its technology as the prime holiday buying season approaches. The first new DLP spots aired Sept. 8 during ABC's and ESPN's college-football coverage. Additional spots will launch during ESPN’s HD broadcasts of MNF, coverage of Bowl Championship Series college-football games and Nextel Cup coverage.

Some of the new spots were previewed to media at a press event in New York Monday night, where former ESPN anchor Dan Patrick and Internet basketball sensation Taurian Fontenette (a.k.a. Mr. 720) made appearances.

DLP chips -- incorporated in HD sets from leading manufacturers such as Samsung, Sharp and Mitsubishi -- use up to 2 million microscopic mirrors to reflect digital images. TI said the mirrors, along with sophisticated processing, yield higher-quality images -- a distinction it has been promoting since fall 2006 with the “It’s amazing. It’s the mirrors” spots featuring a young girl and an elephant.

TI said its market research indicated that sports -- particularly football and NASCAR -- was the most effective place to spend its marketing dollars. The new DLP spots incorporate Mr. 720’s theatrical spinning dunk to emphasize the lack of motion blurring in DLP-equipped HDTVs.

“In 2006, we associated DLP technology with millions of mirrors and saw awareness of the relationship rise nearly 200%,” said Jan Spence, manager of corporate branding for TI DLP products, in a statement. “This year, we’re focusing on the benefits of DLP micro-mirror technology and closely targeting areas where the typical DLP buyer, the tech-savvy and sport enthusiast, spends most of their time: watching football.”