Mitsubishi Wants HD-MTV!

January 16, 2006 is the date for the launch of MTV’s new HD music channel, MHD. (Music-High Definition, I presume?) The station will air original and aquired music-based HD content. And on Monday, Mitsubishi Electric announced that it will be the charter sponsor of the new channel. Expect to see Mitsubishi displays sprinkled around the Vail, Colorado studios that will be home to the new station, as well as the Mitsubishi brand showing up in shows and promos. The company offers just about every type of large-screen display, including plasma, LCD direct view, and both LCD and DLP rear-projection models.

As personal video recorders make time shifting — and commercial-skipping — easy, advertisers are going to seek more effective ways to get their messages across to viewers. One effective way may be to weave it into the presentation itself. This has been going on for years in professional and college sports, as everything from bowl games to NASCAR races to stadiums and arenas have been branded with corporate and product names. So it should be no surprise that broadcast media is headed back to the future, mimicking the era when television variety and drama shows had corporate and product sponsors that were frequently mentioned during the show.

Will this new approach work? It probably depends how intrusive the plugs are, and whether or not the audience objects. If done right, however, it could be a seamless and effective way to make television advertising work in the new world of digital broadcasting.