Targeting West and East coast types who use the Web as part of their work and lifestyles-and make up 70% of today's Net users-the $7 million to $10 million campaign will break in New York and San Francisco.
The two 30-second spots use an avant-garde polyhedron with retro photographs, such as a woman applying hair spray to her beehive hairdo; print and online executions also support.
An ad also will run in The Wall Street Journal targeting advertising executives, with Excite planning a promotion for agency media buyers and planners later this year.
"We want to be the starting place and home base" for Web users, said Scott Epstein, director of marketing communications for Excite.
However, he said the search engine also has moved into consumer advertising because search sitesmust prove their worth as a venue for marketers.
The execution is only the second time a Hendrix number has been featured in a commercial. Anheuser-Busch used Mr. Hendrix's version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in commercials aired during the 1994 World Cup.
"`Are you experienced?' was a kind of code word for personal transformation in the '70s," said Paul Wolfe, exec VP-executive creative director at Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, drawing a parallel to Web users whose lives are transformed by Internet access.
Creative uses the words "control," "focus" and "ideas" to illustrate the Excite message that its service provides more targeted search information, said Chris Lindau, FCB copywriter.