A startup company and McGarrah/Jessee have joined forces to make one of the most expensive media purchases available--a 30-second television spot during January's Super Bowl.
But while Netpliance, a maker of a plug-in device that accesses the Internet, has a low profile, its founder, John McHale, is well known as the entrepreneur behind several successful high-tech firms.
The $15 million campaign that will kick off during the Super Bowl telecast will be the first brand advertising to appear for the Netpliance product, called i-opener.
"The challenge is going to be . . . help[ing] consumers understand how revolutionary this product is.
We get to start a whole new category," said agency principal Mark McGarrah.
The i-opener provides instant access to the Internet without any setup beyond plugging in a phone cord.
The Austin, Texas, shop won the account in a competitive review.
"When we started this company, the idea was to put national brand builders with a small agency," said McGarrah. "They fit exactly with our m.o. as an agency. They don't plan on being a tiny little company for long."
The agency, headed by McGarrah and another former GSD&M vice president, Bryan Jessee, is in its fourth year of business.
The shop currently counts Schlotzsky's Deli, Garden.com and Frost National Bank among its clients.