Ignited Minds, E-tailer Dare Public to Compare

LOS ANGELES In a new campaign by indie Ignited Minds, online retailer Newegg.com urges potential customers to check out the competition before buying discounted brand-name electronics via its 5-year-old Internet store.

The ads are aimed at “skeptical, overexposed” do-it-yourself computer users who “spend a lot of their discretionary time and money on entertaining themselves,” said Eric Johnson, president of the Marina del Rey, Calif., agency. With clients including Activision, Sony and Logitech, Ignited Minds has already gained a reputation in the “people who play” industry, he said.

Print and outdoor work—the first created by an outside agency for City of Industry, Calif.-based Newegg—will launch in early September. The campaign, explained Johnson, was designed to bring broader brand awareness to the company, which already has a cult-like following and sales approaching $1 billion.

“Shop around, do a retail check. Gather opinions from tech-savvy pals, from the IT guy at the office,” he said. “Once you know what you want, you’re going to come to Newegg for the best price and service.”

One of two ads appearing in “several dozen diverse magazines,” including Maximum PC, Gaming World, Wired, HM and Popular Mechanics, shows a young man peering over a cubicle wall with the introduction, “Another Newegg.com salesperson not on our payroll.” Copy reveals that the man is actually a corporate IT staffer.

A second print ad depicts the busy parking lot of a large computer store, its name blurred next to the headline, “Visit any of our 70,000 Newegg.com showrooms worldwide.” Additional copy instructs readers to try out products at local chains, then order them from Newegg.com. A “Shop there. Buy here” billboard will be posted next to electronics chain stores.

The campaign also includes cable TV, radio and online promotions, said Stuart Wallock, Newegg’s director of marketing.

Newegg spent $3.4 million on product- and price-oriented ads last year and $3.1 million in the first half of 2004, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. By year’s end, spending will surpass $10 million, Wallock said.