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The beginning of 2009 marked a bold move by Philips to address the continued challenges of the TV sector in the UK – continued commoditization that has eroded retailer margins, limited differentiation and lost sight of real consumer benefits.

To lay the foundations for a more profitable and consumer focused business, Philips confirmed that it was dramatically reviewing its TV strategy to focus on key partners that shared the vision to create value in a sea of black boxes.

A year on, and after much speculation from the industry, Philips’ TV business has improved both rotation and margins for its retail partners and has a business that is now firmly underpinned by value. Further to this, the product range is getting positive feedback from the trade and media – having also collected some of the most prestigious industry awards in 2009.

In line with this strategy, Philips has also made a step change in its marketing activities, executing a single and consistent message based on consumer insights. The entire range is marketed under the umbrella of ‘cinematic viewing experience’ – a simple and demonstrable consumer benefit.

The year kicked off with the company’s sponsorship of the 2009 BAFTA Television Awards, a partnership that makes complete sense. BAFTA represents the very best in Film and Television content, whilst Philips’ focus is on best in class viewing experience.   The TV business has also joined forces with Philips Shaving to maximize the kudos of its F1 sponsorship.

Following a blaze of publicity, in June, Philips launched a ground breaking first in TVs – Cinema 21:9, the world’s first cinematic proportioned TV that still remains exclusive technology.

The overall campaign, positioning Cinema 21:9 as its iconic flagship, has proven to be a strong range driver for Philips TV’s and its viewing experience message. The Cinema 21:9 launch not only made TV history but also created a new level of excitement in the category. The digital online campaign created a phenomenal buzz and even picked up the ‘Grand Prix’ of Advertising awards in Cannes for its interactive ‘Carousel’ film.

The Philips Ambilight feature continues to offer retailers a unique differentiation in-store and is now available on a wider number of sets than ever before, receiving the highest consumer recommendation of any Philips product.

In September, Philips’ high end 46PFL9704 scooped the European Imaging & Sound Association (EISA) – European LCD TV 2009-2010, the 17th EISA TV title in the 18 years of EISA’s annual awards process.

This was closely followed by What Hi Fi Sound and Vision magazine voting Philips 42PFL9664 the ‘Best TV of the Year’, with its sister product, the 32PFL7404 as a worthy runner up and winner of ‘Best 32” TV’ – further testament to the new TV strategy.

The continued economic climate has been an additional challenge, but we’ve taken the first critical steps towards re-defining our business – this time based on sold foundations.  We said from the very offset that our aim was to be the best and not necessarily the biggest and this accolade’s within reach. We will naturally look to new growth opportunities in 2010 but this time it will be firmly on our terms and aligned with our drive for value creation.

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