Compaq kicks off $350 mil in ads

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Compaq Computer Corp., Palo Alto, Calif., on Sept. 25 breaks its long-awaited $350 million global branding campaign to position the computer giant as the entry point for easy access and simpler use of the Internet. The print effort by FCB Worldwide, New York, debuted in national newspapers, and the TV campaign will start on ABC's "NFL Monday Night Football.'' More ads will break worldwide in magazines like Business 2.0 and Red Herring, and on Internet sites such as America Online and AltaVista. Building off the notion of "inspiration technology," the opening 60-second spot begins with a question, "Where do you find inspiration?" reminiscent of Microsoft Corp.'s `Where do you want to go today?" campaign. Scenarios include people in daily life and how Compaq's products fit into their lives, said FCB President Kelly O'Dea, explaining the spots "focus on the end benefit of technology." Compaq conducted research and found that while it may be a laggard in embracing the Internet, there's still room for leadership. One of the key findings was that "90% of people are interested in technology and benefits it can provide," Mr. O'Dea said. "But no more than 20% of respondents were able to identify any appreciable benefits from technology. We found there is still a rather large gap between the promises and reality of real benefits coming from technology."

Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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