Netscape Plans National Integrated Ad Campaign

Netscape Communications Corp. of Mountain View, Calif., is launching its first national advertising campaign, estimated at more than $30 million, designed to expand the Netscape brand and promote its Netcenter portal content and services.

TV ads will appear on shows such as ER, The X-Files, The Practice, 48 Hours, Dateline and 20/20. Print advertisements will appear in national magazines such as Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek, Wired, New Yorker and Conde Nast Traveler.

The campaign also features drive time radio advertisements as well as online ads on Internet sites that will reach 85 percent of Internet users. Spending was not disclosed. AOL dollars are not behind the upcoming marketing campaign, since the AOL-Netscape deal is not expected to close for at least 90 days, according to published reports.

Netscape’s cross-media campaign for Netcenter was created “to educate consumers everywhere about the breadth of services and unique qualities” of its fast-growing Netcenter portal site, the company said. Consumers are encouraged to visit Netcenter where they’ll find the tools they need to “take charge of their Internet.”

The campaign was created by Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners (KB&P), an integrated communications company. KB&P clients include Coca-Cola, Rockport, Target Stores, Olympus and others.

“Netscape stands out among high-tech companies because it understands how to translate technology advantages into basic human terms. Our research shows that consumers want to take advantage of the Internet’s diverse resources, but they also want to save time. Netscape Netcenter meets this need by offering users the Internet just the way they want it,” said Steve Klein, managing partner and director of media and interactive services at Kirshenbaum Bond.

“Working with Netscape, KB&P was able to create an innovative campaign that breaks through a lot of clutter in the portal category and presents consumers with an intelligent alternative.”

The TV ads will begin Jan. 11. The print campaign begins in the January editions of the various magazines. Netscape also will run a series of outdoor advertisements, in San Francisco and New York, including billboards and bus sides. Online buys were not disclosed.

Netscape Netcenter includes 18 content channels and Netscape-branded Search, Contact, SmartUpdate, Software Download, Member Directory, My Netscape personalization and WebMail services.

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