ZDNet Avoids Holiday Crowds with New $25 Million Campaign

ZDNet, the technology publisher, announced Tuesday a $25 million post-holiday advertising blitz — its first foray into offline consumer-targeted buys.

The 15-month campaign, created by Lowe, Lintas & Partners, will initially focus on network and cable TV, in mainstream and technology-focused print publications, online, and outdoors.

The move is aimed at improving ZDNet’s name recognition against rival CNET, which has been spending $100 million in an effort to build its brand. CNET boasts that it has increased its brand recognition by 100 percent since starting its campaign.

ZDNet says it’s waiting until after the holidays to launch its campaign, hoping to get more attention when dot-com retailers conclude their pre-Christmas spending.

“The campaign is especially timely and relevant following this year’s holiday e-commerce explosion,” says Barry Briggs, executive vice president for ZDNet.

“Highlighting our site as the resource for not only buying, but using and learning about technology will enable us to communicate the incredible breadth of our services. Our goal is to establish ZDNet as the brand that builds a long-term relationship with visitors by guiding them throughout the buying process as they evaluate, then purchase, then ultimately use their technology products.”

ZDNet’s ads will start December 25 on prime-time television and in mainstream print starting December 27. TV ads will run on the Tonight Show, The X-Files, Late Night with David Letterman, That 70’s Show, ESPN, and CNN Headline News. Print ads will run in Time, Sports Illustrated, and Entertainment Weekly.

Television and print ads are also running in key technology targets, such as ZDTV, and selected Ziff-Davis publications, respectively.

During the first quarter of 2000, ZDNet plans to run its print campaign in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Money, USA Today, Fortune, Fast Company, and Business 2.0.

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