Gateway Is Listening

Ad Age looks at Gateway’s combination of face-to-face consumer research with online and broadcast advertising. With its “Ask, Listen and Deliver” campaign launching today, the No. 3 seller of PCs in the U.S. behind Dell and Hewlett Packard wants to prove it’s responsive to consumer needs.

The “road show,” as Gateway refers to its roving interviewers, is the basis for a real-time focus-group campaign born out of research done by Gateway’s strategy and research agency of four years, OBI Industries.
Each interview is recorded digitally in black and white for a documentary-like feeling and uploaded onto a microsite,, which launches today. With each interview upload, the website will not only track the percentage of people who want specific options for their computers, but the company also will measure how many “asks” they are able to deliver.
The campaign marks OBI’s first creative push for the PC maker. While some might think the reality-show approach is a low-rent way to do consumer research and advertise, Mary Ann O’Brien, OBI’s CEO, said it was in keeping with the folksy marketing approach Gateway was traditionally known for.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.