September 15, 2008
| by Arlen Schweiger
Don’t get us wrong, no one’s going to mistake a Vizio plasma for a Pioneer Kuro. But flat-panel TV manufacturer Vizio, which has been able to ride its “Where Vision Meets Value” mantra to a top-three market share over the last year, is trying to play up more than just its affordability now. It might be low-priced, but it’s high-performing, would be the message.
The company launched its high-performance 1080p models—the new XVT Series—earlier this year, though still nicely priced under $2,000 for 42-, 47- and 50-inch flat-panels. Now it’s airing a new marketing campaign to tell viewers more about the technology involved in its products, and air during Monday Night Football (it debuted during the Olympics) and on other networks.
The campaign will continue Vizio’s employment of San Diego Chargers’ stud running back LaDainian Tomlinson, with a nifty, jazzy and high-tech-y looking commercial that showcases the TV’s 120Hz processing speed (yup, LT knows a thing or two about speed on the football field) among other qualities. I’ve seen the commercial and have to say it is very sharp and visually striking, especially in high-def.
Sharp and Sony have used major TV ad campaigns over the past couple of years to tout their wares—perhaps you’ve seen another football star, Peyton Manning, shilling for Sony’s HDNA campaign. Vizio’s competed strongly against those two in market share, but from a technological standpoint the company is still trying to make its name as more than just a budget TV you can get at the local wholesale club.
Of course, back when Vizio announced the XVT models it also announced 42- and 32-inch plasma models for $799 and $599, respectively, still well in line with the value proposition. We’ll also expect to be seeing the actual product, and perhaps some commercials for, Vizio’s soundbar solution upcoming soon, too—which looks like a nice budget audio alternative.
Whichever way they want to spin it, as long as the prices remain great, Vizio will be firmly planted in the flat-panel market, and assuredly will be the “it” TV again this holiday season. We’ll leave it up to the reviewers and consumers—feel free to comment below on how your Vizio operates—to be the performance judges.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.