AKQA developed the Treo 680 campaign, which incorporates a media mix of print, out-of-home, online, mobile and viral advertising. This includes a Palm street team in major metropolitan markets to show passersby how to use the Treo 680 to check their eBay accounts, order movie tickets or make dinner reservations.
Palm will be running co-branded ads with Fandango, Orbitz, and the Onion, among others, and in select print and online publications in the U.S. and Europe including GQ, Lucky and Real Simple.
"By aligning with such brands as Amazon, Orbitz and Yahoo, we're demonstrating that Treo smartphones do much more than the average cell phone. We're showing people how easy it is to interact with these sites while mobile," said Scott Hancock, director of marketing communications, Palm, Inc. in a statement.
SMS-activated kiosks at bus stops and window fronts in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York will also enable people to view category-specific Web content on larger-than-life models of the Treo 680.
Palm seeks to widen the appeal of its Treo 680 smartphone beyond its traditional customer base of business users, and narrow the competition between itself and BlackBerry, whose top-selling Pearl has targeted the same hybrid business-lifestyle wireless consumer for whom the Treo 680 is designed.
The tagline, "Not just a cell phone. A Treo," rings familiar to that of wireless upstart Helio, whose tagline is "Don't call it a phone." Helio has built its marketing on social networking properties, such as the ability to locate another user through a Buddy Beacon, and to log on to MySpace pages.
Palm is also launching a flagship store in New York's Rockefeller Center. The store will feature the entire Palm product line, and through Dec. 17 will give away a Palm Z22 handheld with the purchase of any Treo smartphone.
Palm also announced this week that it brought on Brodie C. Keast, a one-time Apple product marketer, as SVP marketing to run a worldwide branding and marketing initiative.