Cidco Targets Moms for E-mail in DSW Campaign

By Sarah J. HeimSAN FRANCISCO—Cidco sings the praises of the written word while touting the power of modern technology in a $4 million holiday campaign for its personal e-mail system, MailStation.

Radio and print ads from Euro RSCG/DSW Partners, Salt Lake City, will target women over 40 who still don’t have e-mail access, said agency creative director Jeff Bagley. “The sensitivity of our approach is in line with our target audience and will appeal to them on an emotional level,” he said.

A print ad is set to run in national weekend supplements Parade and USA Weekend beginning Dec. 9 and in local markets that have a high concentration of older women.

The ad shows a woman fondly looking over her son’s shoulder. The tag is: “Give Mom e-mail. Because words are a gift in themselves.”

The ad also features an image of the compact device, which can send and receive e-mail messages through any phone line, and notes the $49.99 retail price (after mail-in rebate) and $9.95 monthly service charge.

In five 60-second radio spots, David Og den Stiers (Winchester from M*A*S*H) reads poignant letters to loved ones from historic figures such as Beethoven, Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon, Edgar Allen Poe and Harry Truman. Classical music plays in the background.

The celebrity writer isn’t revealed until the end of each spot. “These ads create an anticipation for the next ad,” said Howard Leyda, vice president of worldwide marketing at Cidco in Morgan Hill, Calif.

Stiers wraps each ad with the lines: “Writing a letter helps you say things you wouldn’t say in person. That’s why e-mail is a bridge to those you love. So give them a Cidco MailStation. The little device that makes sending and receiving e-mail easy.”

The campaign will run through the holiday season. But it could be revived with different letters for the Mother’s Day season and beyond, Leyda said.