IBM boosts ad spending to gain share

Aiming at developers

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IBM, which typically targets the C-level audience of CEOs, CFOs, chief marketing officers and other senior executives, is pursuing a different strategy with its database software advertising.

The campaign, developed by IBM's agency of record, OgilvyOne, is targeted at developers and coders who influence decision making on database software. IBM is using the Web to hit them where they live—online. It's also using network and cable TV to reach these business users at home.

The campaign—an extension of IBM's overall software campaign with the tagline, "It's a different world. You need a different kind of software"—features two visitors from another planet. "They have come in search of better software," is the message.

Meanwhile, other technology companies in the b-to-b space say they do not plan to cut ad spending for now.

Intel Corp. recently launched a $300 million integrated campaign for its Pentium 4 chip, which is on par with past processor launches, said Joann O'Brien, an Intel spokeswoman. Web spending this year is consistent with that for past product launches, although O'Brien declined to be specific.

"At this point, we are continuing to invest in our marketing," said O'Brien, responding to a question about the impact of the economy on Intel's budgeting.

"We believe it is as important as continuing to invest in other business operations like R&D [research and development] and manufacturing," she said.

Other technology companies that will have flat ad spending this year include AT&T Corp., Nortel Networks Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Computer Co., General Electric Co. and Motorola Inc., according to analysts.

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