Even if you're a total klutz, you can use Excite, promises a new TV ad campaign that launched Sunday. The brand awareness campaign, which was created by Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, has the tagline, "You Can Too." Its "Everyman" mystique targets existing and new Internet users. Six spots will air for six weeks, on a wide variety of cable and broadcast shows.
The campaign is the first from Lowe, which is better known for blue-chip clients such as Sprite and Mercedes-Benz, since the shop won the account in October.
Each commercial shows an ordinary person botching everyday activities. In one ad, for instance, a man installs a window air conditioner, only to see it plummet out the window. Meanwhile, superimposed text tells us that this doofus manages his stocks online with no problem. According to Fred Siegel, senior vice president of marketing at Excite, Redwood City, Calif., the message is, "You don't have to be a techie or computer adept in order to do Herculean tasks with Excite." Siegel would not disclose how much was spent on the campaign, but sources have estimated Excite's annual budget at $5 million to $10 million.
"The idea was to humanize the Internet," said Lowe vice chairman and executive creative director Gary Goldsmith.
The other portals' advertising is wacky, said Lowe chairman and chief creative director Lee Garfinkel. "Our humor is smarter and simpler," he explained. "And that's also what the message [about Excite] is." -- Susan Kuchinskas