CNET Launches $100 Million Integrated Campaign

CNET Inc. launched a $100 million multi-media advertising campaign to brand itself as “The Source for Computer and Technology.”

Budgeted at more than $100 million over the next 18 months, the integrated campaign marks the first major advertising push for the company. The company said it will have losses for the third and fourth quarters and for 1999 as a result of a spending on the campaign.

San Francisco-based agency Citron Haligman Bedecarre developed the multi-faceted creative campaign for print, outdoor, TV, radio and online. To establish the direction and target audience of the ad campaign, CNET conducted an extensive brand awareness study, and combined the results with syndicated market analysis.

The print ads are meant to show the scope of CNET and to illustrate a variety of situations in which a range of people use the CNET network. The TV and radio spots use humor to break through the clutter of “dot com” advertising, with the goal of keeping CNET top of mind for computer and tech advice, the company said. The spots spoof the way people seek advice from the wrong kinds of “experts” in shopping for computer and tech products.

“We’re reaching out to a broad audience interested in tech news and information, and this kind of aggressive campaign can significantly boost awareness for CNET and attract new CNET users,” said Tom Bedecarre, chairman of Citron Haligman Bedecarre.

“Over the past several years, CNET has established itself as a category leader,” said Halsey Minor, chairman and CEO of CNET. “Now we intend to aggressively grow our marketshare.”

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