Arnold Ingalls Airs Inktomi Ads

A blazing heart. A cloud-filled sky. Hallucinogenic designs.

No, it’s not an ad campaign for a new documentary on the summer of love. In fact, though these new TV spots were crafted in the city that helped define a generation, they’re designed to promote a technology company.

The three spots are part of a roughly $8 million effort from Arnold Ingalls Moranville for Inktomi, an Internet technology company that provides software for search engines to operate.

In keeping with other recent campaigns for Internet brands, the ads refer little to the product and instead try to familiarize viewers with the brand. “Our aim was to keep the tech minimum and just emphasize that this is technology you need,” agency president Penny Baldwin said.

Apparently, it worked. Baldwin said the spots and an accompanying print campaign resonated just as well with general audiences as they did with high-tech types in focus groups. “People don’t care how this is manifested,” Baldwin said. “We’ve tried to show that this is in some way essential to their Internet experience.”

In the first 30 second spot, loud rock music plays in the background while various shapes and designs flash across the screen. The spot suggests your mind is “essential to you,” and then says Inktomi technology is necessary to the Web.

The spots end with the tagline “Essential to the Internet.”

Creative and managing director David Moranville said the tough part of designing the ads was finding a way to make new technology resonate with consumers.

“The beginning of this was a lot like other companies that are planning their space in the Internet world,” he said. “What we wanted to show was that Inktomi speaks to the quality of your Internet experience.”

Baldwin said the spots will air in spot markets around the country and may also appear in other countries.

Meantime, Arnold also broke a campaign recently for Qualcomm.