IBM Canada Tests DRTV

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TORONTO -- In a move it claims is unique within the global IBM organization, IBM Canada is testing DRTV.

On July 31, the company began airing a trio of 60-second direct response spots targeting students and home-based businesspeople.

The rationale behind the initiative is to get the IBM name and product information in front of consumers when they are interested in making a purchase.

Historically, IBM has run a combination of corporate and brand ads to build awareness of the company and its products and services. That strategy is intended to drive sales through IBM's dealer network.

But the DRTV campaign, which has been timed to tap the back-to-school demand for computers, opens the door to increased direct-to-consumer sales, a channel that is already growing as part of IBM's online sales program.

Ad placement is exclusively on specialty cable channels, among them The Weather Network, Discovery Channel, History Television and The Sports Network.

The campaign focuses on the IBM Aptiva 38U and IBM Aptiva 50U desktop computers, and the IBM ThinkPad i Series 1230 notebook computer.

In the spots, an IBM employee named Pete encourages viewers to call a toll-free number or log on to IBM Canada's Web site,, to make a purchase.

IBM is monitoring the results of the campaign using a system that ties each incoming call to the ad that triggered it.

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