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Toshiba Forms Strategic Alliance with Universal Pictures' "King Kong" to Promote Audio-Visual Products

7 September, 2005


TOKYO--Toshiba Corporation today announced a major strategic alliance with Universal Pictures that allows the company to use the eagerly anticipated release of "King Kong" to promote Toshiba brand audio-visual products, including flat panel TVs, HDD (hard disk drive) audio players, DVD players and digital video recorders integrating an HDD and DVD. "King Kong" will be released worldwide in theaters on December 14 2005, and Toshiba's promotional campaign will target diverse media, including TV, the print media and the web, primarily in Japan and the U.S. The campaign starts in October and is expected to boost year-end holiday season sales and to enhance brand identity.

First brought to the screen to international acclaim in 1933, "King Kong" is one of the best known and most loved of Hollywood's classic film properties. The new version of "King Kong" is produced and directed by Academy AwardTM winner Peter Jackson, and is his first film since the blockbuster commercial and artistic success of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Mr. Jackson was inspired to enter the film industry when he first saw "King Kong" on TV as a child and recreating the original has been a long cherished dream. In doing so, Mr. Jackson has made full use of cutting-edge computer graphics technology that allows, for example, authentic reproduction of 1930s New York City street scenes.

Toshiba chose "King Kong" for a marketing alliance because this iconic story of beauty and the beast has been known and loved worldwide over generations, and because the use of the latest digital technologies to create the movie is a particularly good fit with Toshiba's advanced digital consumer products. Toshiba's advertising and promotions featuring "King Kong" will be used to spotlight TVs, DVD players and recorders, including digital video recorders with HDD and DVD, combo products integrating TV and VCR and/or DVD, and HDD audio players.

In Japan the Company will run ads on TV, radio, in the print media and on the web, with the main emphasis on spot ads on TV, and campaign ads in promotions with movie theaters. Toshiba will also introduce special versions of products that feature King Kong, promote the campaign at retailers, and utilize Kong's image at various exhibitions. In the U.S. the campaign will include consumer promotions tied to key retailers to promote strong holiday sales, a dedicated web site and print and online media advertisements.

"Peter Jackson and the Kong team have been actively involved in our partner's promotional campaigns, from concept and creative development through to execution," said Stephanie Sperber, Executive Vice President, Universal Studios Partnerships. "This level and quality of involvement has allowed for a degree of integration that ties Toshiba brand to King Kong in unique and compelling ways."

"We are delighted to be associated with iconic property and to be able to use it in our marketing activities," said Makoto Shirai, General Manager of Toshiba's Corporate Branding Office. "This is a superb combination of an exciting, attractive movie and exciting attractive products. We look forward to leveraging considerable business momentum through this alliance and our various marketing activities."

This year Toshiba marks its 130th anniversary, and is celebrating by enhancing its advertising and promotion activities to raise awareness of the company and its many achievements. The audio video products business is a key focus area for Toshiba, and cooperation with content creators is one of its key strategies for expanding the business. In Japan, Toshiba's marketing activities this year are concentrated on movies, music and sports. The company was the special sponsor of "We Will Rock You," the Queen and Ben Elton rock opera that just ended a hugely successful three-month run at the Shinjuku Koma Theater. Toshiba also features Hideki Matsui, the Japanese baseball player with the New York Yankees in its advertising in Japan. Adding "King Kong" to Hideki Matsui in its Japanese marketing mix from October will further enhance Toshiba's presence in key advertising spaces.

About Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is part of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.


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