AKQA Crafts $10 Mil. How-To Campaign for Palm

San fRANCISCO—Consumers who are still baffled by handheld computers are likely to get an education in the coming weeks as Palm Inc. kicks off an ambitious holiday marketing ef fort. The $10 million push, including television and online ads, was created by San Francisco shop AKQA.

The campaign, set to run through Jan. 7, is the first major TV work that Palm has launched this year. The spots are slated to run on both broadcast and cable nets, such as MSNBC, ESPN, VH1 and Comedy Central. The online campaign will appear on sites such as AOL and Yahoo!.

Apart from showcasing Palm’s maps, games and language-translation capabilities, the work promotes the Secure Digital technology that Palm developed with Pana sonic.

The new SD ex pansion card allows users to add mem ory and content to their Palm m505 handhelds. By in serting the SD card into a thin slot on the device, users can customize their ex perience and add applications.

“The new technology takes the Palm and turbo-charges it,” said Matt Haligman, chief creative officer at AKQA. “The possibilities for the device are exploding. Hopefully, people will take that limitless feeling away from these spots.”

The three 30-second ads are set to upbeat music by techno band Daft Punk, whose hip sounds were recently used in a Gap commercial created by Modernista!, Boston.

Two of the Palm spots start with the insertion of the SD card into a handheld, triggering a sequence of events that highlights applications useful for both the consumer and the businessperson. As each event occurs—reading an eBook, using a datebook, creating a presentation, checking stocks, looking at digital photos—the handheld is moving right to left across the screen.

“In the past, we’ve done a lot of branding work,” said Page Murray, director, consumer marketing at Palm. “Now there is an opportunity for us to focus on the product—particularly the SD product—and wrap an entire campaign around it.”