TOSHIBA SHIFTS STRATEGY WITH BRANDING CAMPAIGN: $30 MIL PUSH ACCOMPANIES MOVE INTO DESKTOP PCS

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Toshiba, joining the computer industry's rush into branding, on Feb. 4 launches a campaign blending brand sex appeal with product specs appeal.

The effort marks a change in strategy for Toshiba America Information Systems' Computer Systems Division, whose previous ads featured conventional product shots and lists of features.

The campaign starts with a spread in The Wall Street Journal and over the next month moves into Business Week, Forbes, Fortune and major computer titles.holds a commanding lead in the U.S. notebook market. But a name synonymous with notebooks needs to create a broader image for its move into desktop PCs.

Toshiba last fall launched a sleek home PC line. Late this quarter, Toshiba will introduce a business desktop line.

NEW 'COMPUTER' COMPANY

"You're taking a portable company and making it a computer company," said VP-Marketing Ron Smith.

All Toshiba computer advertising will use a design template featuring a black background at left against a white background at right, with a bold photo and a modular block of type.

One brand ad portrays Toshiba as "The portables more people fly with." Product ads also carry a brand message-one for a new high-end Tecra talks about Toshiba's technology leadership.

"We want [customers] to know a little bit more about what's behind the box," said Mark Patton, Poppe Tyson partner-creative director.

Toshiba now joins the mainstream of computer advertising, following IBM Corp., Compaq Computer Corp., Gateway 2000 and others in pushing brand image.

"This isn't branding for the sake of branding. This is branding through product," said Debbie Yount, Poppe Tyson senior partner-account director.

Toshiba is still deciding the mix of product-specific vs. broader brand ads for

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