'Fred' Returns in New CDW Campaign

Computer products direct marketer CDW began a national advertising campaign yesterday featuring “Fred, the IT Guy,” a character who first appeared in CDW ads last year.

CDW, Vernon Hills, IL, said the campaign aims to enhance its brand image with its core customers, which include small to medium-sized businesses, government agencies and educational institutions.

Television ads have begun airing that provide a view from the eyes of IT professional Fred as well-meaning office workers pose an entirely new set of strange requests for technology help.

DWP//Bates Technology, Atlanta, created the ad campaign, which includes the company's first new tagline in four years, “The Right Technology. Right Away.”

The TV ads will appear on cable networks including CNN, Comedy Central and Discovery Channel. Print advertising includes placements in Forbes, PC World and other magazines read by technology decision-makers. Radio ads will air in select local markets later this month, and online ads will appear this month as well.

CDW said ads last year featuring Fred prompted people nationwide to submit their “true tech tales.” CDW received so many stories that it assembled them into a book, “Welcome to I.T.,” priced at $11.95.

Along with the ad campaign, CDW is launching a new section of its Web site called “Fred's Corner.” It includes links to view the TV ads, a place for customers to submit their own Fred stories of technology mishaps and, in the future, they will have the ability to see stories submitted by others, plus a link to order “Welcome to I.T.”

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