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Maxell Launches New Blow-Away Guy Ad Campaign

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Famous Image Has Adorned Young People’s Rooms since 1979

FAIR LAWN, N.J. – Maxell Corporation of America is turning up the volume on its legendary “blow-away guy” advertising icon that has symbolized the enjoyment of entertainment at home for decades. Maxell’s classic black-and-white “blow-away guy” image is the centerpiece of a new multi-million dollar integrated marketing campaign that includes magazine advertising, “wild-posting” billboards in urban settings, college posters and online executions.

Launched today with wild postings in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Cleveland, Washington, DC/ Baltimore, and Atlanta, the campaign is aimed at emphasizing the enjoyment of music, video and personal memories preserved on high quality recording media.

“The image of the hip, young guy being completely blown away by his entertainment experience is timeless,” said Don Patrican, executive vice president of Maxell. “We had allowed this icon to become marginalized over the years. But now, when brand is so important in our business, we’ve decided to leverage this image that tens of millions of people associate with Maxell by putting more energy and investment behind it.”

The key creative decision in the “blow-away” relaunch was to avoid the impulse to update the image, said Patrican, who was a sales and marketing executive at Maxell when the original ad was conceived. Instead, the strategy was to modernize the placement of the image.

“Attempts had been made over the years to contemporize the ‘blow-away guy’, but we decided that the genius of the ad was the purity of the black-and-white image and how it thoroughly and elegantly communicates the joy of a great recorded entertainment experience. We just needed to find new ways to expose that powerful image,” explained Patrican.

“The “blow-away guy is a priceless brand asset that reinforces consumers’ association of Maxell with quality,” added Daniel Lee, vice president of marketing for Maxell.

Print advertisements are scheduled in Rolling Stone, Spin, Giant, Wired, FHM, MacWorld and Stuff, while an online effort will be launched in January including an interactive execution available on maxell.com.

The “blow-away guy” began life in 1979 as an idea for an advertisement aimed at retailers in trade magazines. But client and agency management immediately realized the potential power of the image and developed consumer-directed print and television executions. Millions of television viewers of the 1970s and 1980s still associate Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Walkyries,” the soundtrack of the original television ad, with the enjoyment of recorded entertainment. Additional millions spent their college years waking up to posters of Maxell’s blow-away guy on the walls of their dorm rooms.

Manhattan Marketing Ensemble, New York, MCA’s Agency of Record, created the new campaign. “The challenge for us was to modernize the overall visual and make it relevant to today’s recording consumers while maintaining the essence of the icon,” explained Maury Maniff, Senior Partner for MME. “The core message remains unchanged – Maxell delivers superior performance – and that’s what the blow-away guy communicates to consumers.”

Maxell Corporation of America, a technology and marketing leader, is a full-line manufacturer of digital media products for consumer, professional, and data storage markets. Maxell, a recognized brand leader for over 30 years, markets a comprehensive line of digital tape and disc-based recording media products for consumer audio, video, camcorder and data storage applications.

The company also manufactures and markets a wide range of consumer battery products, as well as a full line of care and maintenance accessories, headphones, label kits, disc storage and iPod and mini player accessories.

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