HANDSPRING HANDHELD GOES HIGH FASHION

Published on .

March 16, 2001

By Tobi Elkin

Handspring takes a cue from 7th Avenue fashionistas for its new ads for the sleek Visor Edge.

Print ads for the Visor Edge, Handspring's

Handspring promotes new design.
latest addition to the Visor family of handheld devices, will run in May and June magazines titles such as Architectural Digest, Country Home, Martha Stewart Living and Wired. Spending on the effort by Bcom3's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, which created the ads, was not known. Bcom3's StarLink, Chicago, handles media buying and planning for Handspring.

Targeting women
The spare print executions are clearly meant to target women. The slim Visor Edge, which will retail for $399, is featured lying flat, with a woman's handbag in the background. The copy reads: "Visor, a necessary accessory. The newest Visor is also the chicest. Clean. Thinner. And yet, still completely expandable with its unique Springboard slot. Which means you get the versatility of Visor, without all the Visor. The Visor Edge. Slip one in your purse."

Previous campaigns for Visor were trying to build the Visor brand name

The sell: 'A necessary accessory.'
and the product family, said Claire Dean, director of brand marketing for Handspring. The forthcoming campaign focuses specifically on the Visor Edge.

"We felt that this form factor was so unique that it warranted its own set of ads," Ms. Dean said. "The focus is on the product itself."

Ms. Dean said Handspring thinks the sleek design and new colors -- graphite, silver, blue and red -- will appeal to affluent women.

Games and gizmo options
Handspring also plans to tout its Springboard modules, which allow consumers to turn their handhelds into wireless phones and MP3 players and access e-books, games, wireless data, GPS (global positioning system) capabilities and more. The Visor Edge also adds a "fast lookup" function, which allows consumers to quickly access contact information without using a stylus, and a silent alarm to remind busy consumers of appointments.

Outdoor ads -- billboards, wild postings and other media -- are being refreshed this month and feature the Visor family line and the Springboard expansion modules. Handspring will ship international language versions of Visor Edge starting in April.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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