The premise of the “Extra to See” theme was that, simply as tv was essentially the most highly effective storytelling gadget (with maybe a tip of the hat to cinema), Sharp’s Aquos product line supplied essentially the most superior televisions, offering viewers with a extra vivid expertise by way of its superior shade, element, and sound. One of many marketing campaign’s 5 tv spots confirmed people-a mom dressing her daughter, a person cooking, an viewers at a film theater-going about their lives with their eyes closed. Lastly a lady opened her eyes in an artwork museum in entrance of Victor Meirelles’s portray Battle of Guararapes. A voice-over then stated, “The Sharp Aquos liquid crystal tv. All of the sudden there’s extra to see.” Some critics took exception to the underlying idea. Writing in Brandweek, Barry Janoff commented, “Taking the spot’s premise actually means to suggest that folks cannot actually see or respect their lives until tv is there to assist them. And, extra so, they will not actually worth their very own lives until they commerce of their peculiar TVs for an Aquos. In fact, Sharp cannot inform individuals to get out and luxuriate in life by turning off their TVs.”
The message of “Extra to See” could have been simplistic and even illogical, however the methodology by which the centerpiece of the marketing campaign was delivered was as progressive as Sharp’s LCD expertise. The marketing campaign was greater than multifaceted; it was in some ways an instance of interactive fiction, utilizing the totally different elements-television spots, print adverts, web sites, and an “alternate actuality sport” contest-to interact the viewers and hold it concerned within the marketing campaign for months on finish. Such an method was supposed to counteract the resistance that buyers had constructed as much as 30-second commercials after years of being bombarded by them, to not point out the power of digital-video-recorder house owners to skip over commercials. The pioneering effort in this kind of promotion was the impartial movie The Blair Witch Venture, which created a buzz by dropping hints within the media that the movie was a pupil documentary challenge that went horribly awry. The curious had been led to the producer’s web site, and a lot of individuals started to debate amongst themselves whether or not the “discovered footage” of the scholar filmmakers was actual or faux. When the low-budget movie opened, it turned the shock hit of the summer time of 1999, producing a powerful $150 million in home box-office gross sales.
Sharp engaged the providers of the Blair Witch producers, Haxan Movies, to assist create the thriller story round which the “Extra to See” advertising and marketing marketing campaign and contest would revolve. The ensuing story was referred to as “Legend of the Sacred Urns,” and shoppers had been invited to resolve the thriller of the place an eccentric millionaire had hidden three prized urns. The three tv commercials that developed the storyline-“The Key,” “The Pool,” and “The Tooth”-weaved a “cinematic thriller,” within the phrases of Shoot journal’s Invoice Dunlap, “set in a rustic property, involving a good looking girl, an older man in a swimming pool and a careless driver in a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.” Marcus Robinson, writing for Boards Journal, supplied his personal abstract of the setup: “A man, Peter Lindeman, is swimming within the pool of his large French chateau, and his babe girlfriend wanders out on the highway to fulfill her lover. Sadly, he is massaging a toothache and had his eyes on the rear view, which forces him to swerve to keep away from hitting her. He finally ends up launching his purple sports activities automobile into the pool.”
All three spots confirmed the identical incident from a special viewpoint. In “The Pool,” for instance, a lady from a bed room window watched Lindeman swimming within the pool when a automobile immediately flew by way of the air and landed within the water. A Sharp tv was then proven, and on its display screen viewers had been directed to the marketing campaign’s web site, Moretosee.com. The positioning supplied audio and visible clues, and featured blogs, purportedly written by the three characters engaged within the hunt for the three thriller urns. Chat rooms had been additionally accessible for individuals to ponder the thriller collectively. As soon as viewers had been on the web site, they needed to alternative to be taught extra about LCD expertise and Sharp’s Aquos line of televisions. Contributors had been additionally directed to different web sites to uncover clues. The spots had been directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, whose credit included Gates of Heaven, The Skinny Blue Line, and Quick, Low cost, and Out of Management.
The tv spots started airing in September 2004 and had been proven on quite a lot of community and cable programming, together with ABC’s Monday Evening Soccer and CBS’s 60 Minutes. The “Extra to See” marketing campaign additionally included print adverts, executed by Wieden & Kennedy’s Amsterdam workplace, that additionally tried to drive individuals to the web site. After beginning in the USA, “Extra to See” was rolled out to 18 different international locations. In an ancillary part of the marketing campaign, Sharp opened a storefront in New York Metropolis, the place shoppers may expertise the Aquos product line and the place additional clues had been made accessible. The marketing campaign ran for 4 months, by way of the important vacation season, with bits of the thriller parceled out over time. In the long run, Ken Floss of Ohio solved the puzzle and received the grand prize, an Aquos tv and different house theater tools.