CIDCO Unveils New Ads for E-mail Device

Internet appliance maker CIDCO , Tuesday launched the second phase of its $20 million national print, TV, online and outdoor advertising campaign geared at promoting its MailStation e-mail product to consumers.

The company tapped Euro RSCG DSW Partners — best known for its “Intel Inside” work — to create the ads. The resulting “Email for When” campaign pitches the MailStation at the home consumer market, especially women, as a low-cost, convenient alternative to a personal computer.

The system connects to a standard telephone jack to transmit e-mail.

“Our goal at DSW Partners was to create a campaign that gave MailStation value in the hearts and minds of the consumer,” said partner and creative director Jeff Bagley. “We wanted to communicate in a non-technical way how this great product relates to everyone.”

The print campaign includes three ads that will launch this week in Newsweek, US weekly and Entertainment Weekly. The spots will also run through December 2000 in magazines aimed at the home consumer market, including Better Homes and Garden, Sunset, Family Life, Oprah, Woman’s Day and Discover.

The online campaign, which also begins this week, includes six to nine banner ads, sponsorships and opt-in e-mail.

In October, the campaign will add a cable TV spot and 10 different bus posters in New York City.

CIDCO executives said they anticipate the new campaign driving sales through its depth and consistency.

“This aggressive new phase of the campaign extends the brand awareness generated earlier this year through the entire purchase process, all the way to the channel at point of purchase,” said Bill Sole, CIDCO executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing.

“We achieved this by leveraging DSW Partners’ campaign for all our channel materials, so that brand, message and appearance are consistent from awareness to purchase. By humanizing the technology and making it relevant and exciting for consumers, every component of the campaign communicates the MailStation’s universal appeal.”

CIDCO competes with Netpliance, which produces a Web-browsing appliance, as well as free or discount PC companies like PeoplePC.

The Internet appliance industry, while relatively lukewarm, is nevertheless being closely watched by analysts and key Internet industry players.

Several major ad networks have already begun positioning themselves to take advantage of emerging media like Web appliances by partnering with service providers.

Video game system manufacturers, including Sega and Microsoft, with its upcoming Xbox console, are also betting that Internet connectivity from game systems will pay off in the long run.

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