AKQA Begins Push for Palm’s Treo

LOS ANGELES Palm is launching a $25 million campaign today featuring the Treo 680, according to Scott Hancock, director of marketing communications.

“This is the most significant [marketing] effort behind Treo to date,” said Hancock, who is based in Palm’s Sunnyvale, Calif., office. “And the holiday is the peak season. It has reached the price point for purchase as a gift.”

In addition to cellular communications, the new model offers a proprietary Web browser (Blazer) for viewing Internet content via a touch-screen interface.

The campaign by AKQA in San Francisco includes outdoor, print, online and interactive kiosks rather than broadcast, because, Hancock said, “We need the frequency to tout our ability.”

The tagline is “Not just a cell phone. A Treo.”

He acknowledged the similarity to the positioning of rival Helio, which in ads from Interpublic Group’s Deutsch bills itself as more than just a cell phone, but noted that the two devices pursue “different markets. We’re going after the multimedia player.”

The account is moving to WPP Group’s Y&R in San Francisco, and this will be AKQA’s last Treo campaign.

Treo efforts include interactive advertising with what Hancock called “passion brands: Amazon, eBay, Google, the Onion, Orbitz, Tivo, Yahoo and the product’s own microsite.

“We’re reaching out to a broader audience. We’re communicating what life is like with a Treo in eight different vignettes with the theme, ‘Tell me more.'”

The kiosks here, in San Francisco and New York allow shoppers at point-of-sale, bus stops and windows to manipulate an outsized Treo device in a monitor. Support also includes street teams performing live demonstrations.