Oticon Inc, Somerset, NJ, will release new marketing tools promoting the new Oticon Dual—namely, the product will be showcased on the ears of rock star Huey Lewis, founder and lead vocalist of Huey Lewis and the News. Lewis, an early adaptor and enthusiast of Oticon Delta, helped Oticon deliver the message of style and performance, and now he will share his real-life experience trading up to Dual.
“Huey is the ‘real deal’,” says Gordon Wilson, Oticon’s VP of marketing. “We wanted a spokesperson who literally wore his commitment to our hearing solutions on his ears. We reasoned that if we are attempting to spread the word about better hearing and the benefits of hearing solutions then we needed a personality who could demonstrate through his own experiences that hearing devices can be part of an active lifestyle.” Wilson says that during the 2 years the company has worked with Lewis, the Grammy Award-winner has recommended Delta to friends, family, and fellow musicians, many of whom now wear Delta.
A video and photo shoot took place in Sausalito, Calif, using some of Lewis’ favorite locations as backdrops. No props were needed; Lewis wore his own Sunset Orange and Cabernet Red Duals and black Streamer throughout the day-long session.
Wilson says that with more than 20 million albums sold worldwide, Lewis has enormous appeal to a wide range of consumers. “He is a wonderful role model for new users who hesitate to consider hearing solutions because of outdated stereotypes," Wilson says. "And, at the same time, as an experienced user, he can speak credibly about Dual’s fantastic sound quality with Spatial Sound and full wireless connectivity.”
The marketing materials include eye-catching posters, postcards, in-office displays, a cover story in Oticon’s Sound Advice magazine, and a videotaped interview for in-office viewing. All share Lewis’ success story with Dual and encourage others who want the ultimate combination of appealing design and outstanding performance to talk with their audiologists about new Dual.
Wilson says Lewis was an excellent test case for Dual’s appeal to experienced users. “When we asked Huey to try Dual, he was a bit hesitant. He had been quite satisfied with his Deltas,” Wilson says. But Lewis was open to change.
“I’d been a Delta wearer for two years,” Lewis says. “I was mad about my Deltas. But then I was introduced to the new Oticon Duals. I was told they were even better than Delta and I couldn’t imagine how that could be. But they are.”
Lewis says Dual helps him more easily identify who is talking, especially when voices or sounds come from different areas of the room. “I am able to focus on the sounds I’m really trying to listen to. In other words, if you’re speaking, I am more able to focus on you even though I might hear peripheral noises,” he says. ”I can hear both the close sounds and the faraway sounds. Before I had trouble determining where sound was coming from. My new Duals really help me zero in on what I want to hear.”
A bonus was the optional Streamer companion device that enables Dual users to wirelessly connect to landline and cell phones, TV systems, and other popular personal entertainment systems such as MP3 players.
“With Dual, I can talk on my cell phone hands-free,” Lewis says. “I live in California where they just passed a law restricting driving while talking on a cell phone. So this is fantastic. And I can also plug the Streamer into my iPod and listen to music.”
The new marketing materials, shipped in late December, are appearing in the hearing centers and offices nationwide. For information, contact Oticon at (800) 526-3921.