J-Lo signs as brand ambassador for Harman's flagship audio line
TV ads featuring the pop singer will broadcast in the UAE soon
Dubai: Double Oscar winner A.R. Rahman and the pop-band Maroon
5 are striking all the right notes as brand ambassadors for Harman, the
premium audio-video company. But now the heat is being turned up with
the signing on of Jennifer Lopez as role model for the company's
flagship audio brand, harman/kardon.
A new television campaign featuring J-Lo begins in the next few
days in the UAE and other key regional markets and will be followed up
by committed runs at the cinemas, in print and on digital platforms. The
TV commercial has just aired in Europe.
"It's the first time we are having a brand ambassador for the
flagship, and it comes with the tagline of â€˜beautiful sound'," said Amit
Malani, president of Harman International's Middle East operations.
"And I can't think of any artist who fits that tagline more than
Malani dismisses any scepticism that Lopez's recent career trajectory may not have been all that high profile. (Heather's note: WTF are they smoking?)
"She's certainly bouncing back and has had two recent singles which
did extremely well," he added. "She's there on American Idol and getting
back into the limelight. As far our brand is concerned, all of this
creates a lot of synergies."
Lopez has in the past featured in ads for her eponymous range of fragrances as well as for the 2012 model year Fiat 500.
The Lopez association should run for the better part of the next
year and will run parallel to the endorsements from A.R. Rahman and
Maroon 5 which are for JBL, the high-end audio products brand owned by
Harman International. More celebrity tie-ins for JBL will be announced
in the first quarter.
"JBL has one of the biggest legacies in the audio industry - from
homes to concerts - that we felt was not being properly leveraged,"
"The endorsements with ARR and Maroon 5 are part of that correction and more artistes will come on board."
Between harman/kardon and JBL, they command 62 per cent of the
audio-video receiver market in the UAE for units retailing at Dh2,000
For 2012, Harman's regional operation â€” which is also responsible
for chain of stores under the Harman House branding â€” is looking to
push the ad and promotional spends to one per cent of its total
revenues. Coupled with the campaigns run by its distributors, the total
promotional spend would come to 3.5 per cent of the gross.
For the current financial year which runs through June, the
regional operations is on course to achieve revenues of $300 million,
which compares with the $229 million earned last year. Retail makes up
17 per cent of the gross and the rest comes through the distribution
Plans are in place to add more locations in Abu Dhabi and in Qatar to add to the current network of 10 Harman House stores.
October and November provided exceptionally strong numbers, which
was aided by the sustained demand for the iPad and Samsung's Galaxy
tablets which Harman House sells.
"December so far has not provided the numbers that were expected
and it could be that shoppers are preferring a cautious approach with
all the bad economic news in Europe," said Malani.
"But the last 10 days of the year could still offer a bump in
sales and so should the coming Dubai Shopping Festival in January."