Sony is appealing to cash-strapped consumers in the run-up to Christmas, with a price promotion offering the “VAT back” on all its products.
The brand is hoping to entice those looking to upgrade TVs and other big-ticket items as analysts predict pressure on consumer spending and a drop in confidence following recent government spending cuts and the forthcoming VAT increase from 17.5% to 20% in January.
Sony’s own research reveals that the VAT rise is a major concern for consumers this Christmas.
Chancellor George Osborne last week announced £81bn in spending cuts and public sector job losses of 490,000 to reduce the deficit.
Matt Coombe, general manager of brand and consumer marketing at Sony UK, says: “We feel it’s a nicer way to provide offers at this time of year, based on the financial crisis that’s happening and the potential crisis come January.”
The offer applies to any Sony product purchased between now and 24 December. Customers will be able to claim back the VAT direct from Sony post-purchase. It follows Sony’s trade-in offers that have run throughout the year.
Maureen Hinton, a retail analyst at Verdict Research, predicts a number of retailers and brands will offer “VAT-off” deals in January.
Launching on Thursday (28 October), the TV ad stars Sir Derek Jacobi as Scrooge, from the Charles Dickens book A Christmas Carol. His character changes from being grumpy to generous once he learns of Sony’s VAT-back promotion.
Agencies Crayon, True Worldwide and Dare worked on the campaign, which runs in print, in store and online, including a website, sony.co.uk/vatback.
A two-minute version of the Sony VAT-back ad will air on Saturday during The X Factor, with further 20-second slots rolling out in November.