Feeling the Pressure, Toshiba Lets ‘Freedom’ Ring

With its No. 1 category ranking under attack from notebook rivals Compaq and IBM, Toshiba this week launches a $60 million ad campaign aligning its name with the concept of mobility under the tag “Choose freedom.”
A series of four-color print ads from DGWB, Irvine, Calif., launches today in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. The first features a horizontal photo of a skyline with the headline, “Business and freedom are announcing a major joint venture.” Copy outlines the benefits of mobile computing in the daily lives of consumers. “Millions are finding their true potential with our portables,” it reads.
It is DGWB’s first work on the account since landing it in August.
The ads will soon roll out in business titles, including PC Magazine and Information Week.
Toshiba is due to launch its first-ever TV spots for its portables on Jan. 31. Set to the Soup Dragons’ “I’m Free,” they continue the “Choose freedom” theme and show businesspeople free to have fun thanks to the portability of their Toshibas. In one, an office worker stores his computer in his bicycle pack and takes it to the roof of his office building for a ride.
The ads will air on CNN, The Discovery Channel, ESPN and broadcast news affiliates.
Andy Bass, Toshiba vice president of marketing communications and e-business, said the campaign “challenges businesses to enable people to have the freedom to choose when, where and how they work.”
Toshiba leads the corporate market for notebooks in terms of volume, but is feeling pressure from IBM, according to Gerry Purdy, editor of Mobile Insights, a Mountain View, Calif., newsletter. Compaq’s Presario is challenging as a strong No. 2 to Toshiba in retail, per PC Data, Reston, Va.