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APPLIANCES / AIR CONDITIONING & HEATING

Consumers Told To Wise Up On Air Conditioners

By Marie Jones | Tuesday | 17/08/2010

Panasonic is set to drive sales of its Air Conditioners this Summer with a $6 million dollar campaign aimed at educating consumers and dealers on making the right choices in air conditioning products.

Starting with the launch of 11 new energy efficient models, the company is partnering with Channel Nine's TV series, 'The Block' on a major advertising campaign and the introduction of smart initiatives to help consumers and retailers choose the right products.

Matthew Harrison, Group Marketing Manager of Panasonic Australia, said the choice of air conditioners has traditionally been difficult in the Australian market with consumers buying the wrong sized units for their homes, and also buying them at the wrong time, costing them both in economic and environmental terms.

He said: "Last year, during a heatwave in South Australia which saw temperatures soar 10 degrees above average, many regions experienced good sales in air conditioners. But consumers discovered problems with supply and installation, and also the choices they made. This was because most people waited too long before choosing and purchasing their units. They then found that either the models they required were unavailable, which meant they chose the next best thing, which was both wrong for their needs and for the environment, or that they could not get their units installed due to installers being booked out due to heavy demand."

Paul Reid, Director of Consumer Electronics at Panasonic Australia, said the company is expecting its biggest ever year in sales of air conditioners this year, seeing it as one of the company's strategically important growth categories. He said: "Our Split System air conditioners have seen solid growth last year, with unit sales growing three times as fast as the market. We are launching a new range of air conditioners which have been improved in terms of energy consumption, and for the first time, we will be marketing these with a range of TV advertisements."

Matthew Harrison, Group Marketing Manager, said the launch is being coupled with a $6 million dollar investment in educating consumers on not only choosing the right product for their rooms, but also to 'outsmart summer' by making those choices early.

In a bid to help consumers make those choices, the company has launched a Smartphone App which will enable them to research their purchases. Consumers will be given a convenient framework to enter information on their room environment and receive product recommendations based on that. Once they have made their selections, they can access product details, images and videos instantly.

The company is also rolling out a training program for dealers and 35 roadshows in every State and Territory to educate more than 1800 retail staff. Together with its partnership with Channel Nine's 'The Block', which is soon to hit TV screens across Australia, as well as a TV and radio advertisement campaign which will be launched in the first week of September, the company will also launch a Buyer's Guide and a series of seven online webisodes on Youtube.com/PanasonicAustralia.

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