Butler Handed Handspring’s $15-20 Mil. Account

Print, Online Campaign Will Introduce a New Handheld Computer
SAN FRANCISCO–Handheld computer developer Handspring has awarded its estimated $15-20 million creative and media account to Butler, Shine & Stern following a review of undisclosed shops primarily on the West Coast.
“Butler, Shine & Stern’s creative thinking was the strongest we had seen,” said Claire Dean, director of marketing communications for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company.
“Most importantly,” Dean added, “when we presented our vision of the handheld market and showed them our products, they immediately grasped the magnitude of the market opportunity and connected with our product vision and its potential.”
Neither the client nor the agency would divulge any details about Handspring’s new handheld product. Agency president and principal Greg Stern did call it “a most remarkable and ingenious product.”
The Sausalito, Calif., agency will launch a national campaign during the fourth quarter to introduce the upcoming product. Stern said the agency’s initial ad efforts will mostly be comprised of print and online executions.
Handspring, founded late last year by Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky, former executives of 3Com’s Palm Computing division, is planning to launch affordable handheld computers in the sub-$200 range [Adweek, July 19].
The company has a licensing agreement with 3Com to use the latter’s Palm OS technology. The Palm Computing platform will be used in Handspring’s products, which will be marketed heavily to the mainstream consumer market. In contrast, 3Com’s Palm Pilot (advertising for which is handled by Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco) is marketed primarily to hard-core business users.
Separately, Butler has launched an estimated $5-10 million national campaign for E-Stamps, a provider of postage over the Internet. An initial print execution features a circular postmark that reads, “E-Stamp has made it possible to print postage stamps from your computer. Now if we could only get the Treasury Department to call us back.” The campaign uses the tagline, “We’ll get it right.”