GATEWAY 2000 - UK web site: www.gateway2000.co.uk
Gateway claims to have beaten Dell on to the net with its direct sales
model and delightfully named ’configurator’. This is a jazzy piece of
software that allows users to customise their purchase or add and remove
items from their shopping basket while viewing an instant read-out of
the total price.
Gateway’s global sales via the net are dollars 4.3 million a day.
Laurie Pick, the internet marketing manager at Gateway, says: ’We’ve
been advertising online in the US for more than a year and started
advertising in five key European markets this year.’ These are the UK
and Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, France and Germany. ’Our ads talk
about our products, their price points and the configurator,’ Pick
Gateway says its choice of website to run banners mirrors its print
advertising strategy, which means an online equivalent of computer
Gateway is traditionally stronger than Dell in the consumer market and
weaker in the business market, but it is looking to strengthen its
position in the latter, and the internet will play a key role in this
new strategy. The company has created six different websites for
Online work is handled by a US agency, New York-based Organic Media, but
it may be centralised into McCann-Erickson.
DELL UK - web site: www.euro.dell. com/intl/euro/countries/uk
Dell has been hogging the headlines lately with its dazzling figures for
direct sales over the internet: dollars 6 million a day worldwide and
dollars 1 million a day in Europe.
Dell’s European arm, which is based in Ireland, has been running online
ads since May last year and has remained with the same specialist
agency, Aardvark. ’The agencies that represented us in traditional media
weren’t strong on the internet, so we went for one that focused on web
technology and software,’ Aine O’Dwyer, the internet marketing manager
for Dell UK, says. ’It is also proficient in things like file sizes,
animation and analysis.
’Unlike a newspaper ad, the work doesn’t stop once you see your banner
ad on the website. This is a very technical area, which requires
Dell UK’s online spend has increased in line with its overall marketing
budget but it has remained almost static for the past six months. ’We’re
not into massive spends for short periods but prefer to maintain a
consistent level,’ O’Dwyer says.
’Bear in mind that Dell is much more focused on the direct sales model
than many other brands, so the purpose of our banner ads is to generate
awareness of the website and its online store rather than simply to push
the Dell brand.’
Dell’s banners can be found on a mix of high-traffic websites such as
search engines (appearing when keywords such as ’computer’ are tapped
in), directories and IT-based websites. O’Dwyer says the last tends to
be a lot more expensive than the others, but it is a key market. Dell
also appears on ’portal sites’ (intended as a point of entry for the
web), such as MSN.
HEWLETT-PACKARD - UK web site: www.hp.com/uk
Ian Ryder, the director of brand management and communications at
Hewlett-Packard, is an Englishman who spends much of his time at the
company’s Palo Alto headquarters. But while he may have adopted the
Silicon Valley enthusiasm for all things wired, he remains resolutely
un-Californian when discussing the potential for online advertising.
’E-business is not to be confused with web advertising,’ he says. ’They
are two completely different things. Hewlett-Packard is evangelical
about the former, but using the internet as an advertising medium will
mean cutting the advertising cake into even smaller pieces rather than
replacing any other form of advertising.’
Although H-P is one of the biggest online advertisers, with an estimated
spend of dollars 5 million to dollars 6 million a year, it doesn’t have
a centralised internet advertising division. Responsibility for this
area is delegated to more than 80 different product divisions. ’We have
no overall strategy or policy regarding which websites to advertise on,’
When pushed, he does list a few favoured websites: Cnet, Zdnet, Wired,
Pointcast, Microsoft, Pathfinder and CMPnet. He also reveals that the
company is developing a series of banner ads for use with search
engines. Recent H-P research shows its name appeared more often than
that of any other corporation as a keyword search. The H-P website
claims more than ten million hits a day, making it one of the most
Ryder’s scepticism about online advertising may subside, as he is now
’in the process of developing an overall brand strategy, which will
encompass web advertising’.
IBM - UK web site: www.uk.ibm.com
Big Blue is very big on the net, consistently topping the Fletcher
Research adspend tables (its notable absence from the April list was,
apparently, an error).
Brenda Jones, the director of marketing for IBM’s North Region, says
online spend is a key part of the marketing mix, although she won’t
reveal exact figures. IBM’s banner ads feature on 20 web sites,
including FT.com, Yahoo, Alta Vista, Lycos and the Evening Standard’s
This Is London. All online advertising is handled by the new-media
offshoot of IBM’s ad agency, O&M.
In addition to its ubiquitous banner ads, IBM has gone heavily into
website sponsorship, particularly during major sports events such as
Wimbledon and the Nagano Winter Olympics. ’These bigger projects have
been very useful for testing the scalability of our software (its
ability to cope with increased numbers of hits),’ Jones says. This
year’s Wimbledon helped IBM break its own world record in terms of hits
per minute - 146,000 on 3 July - which it had previously set during
IBM’s recent TV and press advertising has highlighted its new focus on
e-business, encompassing software and service technology as well as
IBM’s traditional hardware bias. The internet is ’absolutely core’ to
this strategy and a bespoke website has been set up at
For Jones, like many of her industry colleagues, banner ads are not so
much an alternative to traditional ads, but rather a supplement. ’You
have to go back to the original objectives of your marketing campaign to
see which medium is best suited to your needs,’ she says.
’While banner ads are demonstrably easier to evaluate than TV, the
latter is still the best way of establishing and reinforcing brand