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IBM corp.'s pc division this month gives its new ThinkPad laptop computers a Web advertising sendoff, marking the first time the marketer has launched a new product on the Web before the rest of the campaign breaks.

Banner ads from Ogilvy &*Mather Interactive, New York, promoting the May 13 online launch of the ThinkPad 380 series use a new tagline: "The power of a desktop. The personality of a ThinkPad."

"We're positioning the product as a desktop replacement," said Marty Susz, worldwide director of communications for IBM Personal Computer Co. The 380 will feature floppy disc and CD-ROM drives and will cost from $2,199 to $3,000.


A teaser banner campaign that began May 1 invites Web users to sign up for a sweepstakes and will draw them to a ThinkPad 380 series site that goes live May 13.

J Sandom, senior partner with O&M Interactive, said he hopes this will be the first of many IBM*PC products his group will handle online.

In a twist, print ads breaking after May 13 feature O&M executives including Creative Director Ken Segall and ThinkPad Account Exec Scott Townsend using ThinkPads. The ads will appear in The Wall Street Journal, Business Week and other magazines.

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