Magellan launches consumer-friendly GPS devices
Previously, handhelds were relegated to hikers and outdoorsmen. The devices were glitch-ridden and awkward, but today’s GPS systems have been revamped into the sleek, easily-portable devices du jour found in luxury cars and cell phones.
Now, GPS manufacturers are taking further aim at the consumer segment with the introduction of handheld devices for the everyman.
Rand-McNally (WinmoEdge article
) and Hewlett Packard recently announced forays into the handheld GPS market.
Magellan Navigation (formerly Thales Navigation), headquartered in San Dimas, Calif., markets high-end satellite navigation products retailing at upwards of $900. The company is rolling out a family of cheaper models, the RoadMate 2000 series, with hopes of cashing in on this burgeoning market.
To gauge how Magellan
will keep the RoadMate 2000 series ahead of the pack, we spoke to Paul Lanyi, worldwide director of marketing communications.
According to Lanyi, Magellan’s traditional demographic is a white, married male earning about $100,000 annually. With the series' lower price point (about $400), this demographic has become slightly more inclusive.
“I suspect at Christmastime, these will be given as gifts,” Lanyi said.
According to Lanyi, Magellan has an aggressive marketing campaign in the works.
Beginning in the company’s fourth quarter, national and regional radio spots will spotlight the Magellan 2000 product line. The company also brokered a deal with Sirius radio to air spots in 20 major marketing regions.
Domestic passengers on United, American or Delta airlines can also glimpse 30-second ads on the airlines’ in-flight programming. Beginning this month and ending in December, American is also giving passengers quirky in-flight cards resembling a RoadMate.
According to Lanyi, Magellan works with Davis Elen in Los Angeles for creative, and San Francisco-based Freestyle Interactive for Web needs. The company also works with many graphic design firms.
He downplayed any potential opportunities, but kept an open mind. “I’m happy to look at your creative, but its better to fish elsewhere," he said.
Lanyi said Howard Lyda, senior director of marketing communications, is the top marketing decision-maker at Magellan.
General market agencies with media buying capabilities and enough moxie to approach Magellan should definitely do so. We suggest contacting Lanyi, as we’re told Mr. Lyda travels about six days a week.