Cold War Kids + Technics Case Study

After nearly a decade of working with our friends at Panasonic North America (PNA), we were introduced to Technics for an upcoming product launch. This hi-fi premium audio brand, most widely known for its legendary SL-1200 turntables, was looking for a creative campaign to launch their new true wireless earbuds. With over fifty years of delivering innovations in the market, Technics was well poised with audiophiles, but lacked brand recognition with a broader/younger market.

The key to this endeavor was carving out our target market in a fairly crowded space. We worked closely with PNA and a partner research agency who helped us to test messaging across various digital channels to “get there” quickly. The results gave us some good insights and confirmed our initial thoughts around this heritage brand. Armed with all of the information, we honed the creative for an initial omni-channel campaign launch.

And then, Covid-19 hit. One month before production. And everything was put on ice. But under quarantine, the opportunity actually grew quickly as people sought new/better audio solutions at home. In an effort to not lose out on the opportune timing, we looked at how we could move the creative into a post-only execution. By pivoting, we could not only push forward, but we could stay on budget and deliver in the same timeframe.

Technics Earbuds Launch Video

The initial brand/product launch in the summer of 2020 became a mix of CG, stock and VFX (composited products to look like people are wearing the earbuds). We were handcuffed compared to the palette we had available pre-pandemic for the lifestyle-based campaign, but we made it work with smart and strategic solutions. 

The initial launch was wildly successful, and Technics was ready to step on the gas pedal to gain an even broader reach. So we employed a broader strategy. Where could we really align the brand with authenticity and entertainment--and get some organic lift? With bands and musicians cancelling concerts/tours/festivals, we saw a real opportunity to strategically engage with a group who loved the Technics brand and could spend some time with us creating some great stories. Enter Cold War Kids. They were launching a new album (New Ages Norms 2), and were authentic Technics fans. And they had an approach to sound that was right in line with the product and where we wanted to go with our messaging. So we got to work.

Docu-Style Brand Promo

In Q4 2020, we launched a teaser announcing the partnership with the band, followed by a docu-style piece narrated by original members Nathan Willett and Matt Maust. We then created cutdowns for social and cutdowns to drive traffic to a Technics + Cold War Kids page on their main webpage.

Exclusive CES Concert

The campaign creative was so successful that Panasonic inquired about Cold War Kids performing an exclusive concert for CES (a virtual event due to the pandemic). We wanted to tie the event to the notorious CES setting in Las Vegas. After some scouting we landed on the new Area 15, an immersive entertainment and events complex just off the strip. It was the perfect palette, but the budget was just shy for everything we wanted to do.

Strategic Promotion With LUMIX Cameras

Panasonic had just released a new LUMIX box cam (BGH1) and it was well suited for our 5-camera “live” production at Area 15. What if we used those new cameras and created a case study for LUMIX? We did some initial tests with our DP here in LA and we made a plan. We documented the production with the new BGH1’s and did post interviews with our DP and technical director. We also supported the initiative with a live stream event for Panasonic to speak about the experience with our team. It was a win-win-win-win for Panasonic, Technics, LUMIX and Cold War Kids. 

As of Oct 2021, we are in production with Leon Bridges for the next phase of the Technics marketing campaign. 

More to come.