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Palm ad spree to focus on OS, applications

A $100 million ad campaign reportedly will showcase thousands of software applications, such as golf and weather programs, that can run on handheld computers using the Palm operating system.

Palm will launch a major advertising campaign Thursday, showcasing that thousands of software applications--such as golf, weather and mapping programs--can run on handheld computers using the Palm operating system.

The campaign is an effort by the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company to show that it does more than just sell handheld computers.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the $100 million advertising campaign will include TV and radio spots as well as ads in magazines and newspapers and on the Internet.

Many of the ads, developed by San Francisco agency Citron Haligman Bedecarre, will not even show the Palm machine but rather its screen against a backdrop of faces and landscapes. The advertisements will focus on the software programs that can run on Palm.

Palm's new ads will bear the tagline "Simply Amazing" in addition to the old tagline, "Simply Palm." Each of the new print ads will focus on a different software application. According to the Journal, one ad highlights a weather-forecasting software program. In the ad, a woman is pictured smiling in the rain, while a screen floats to her left with text that reads "Forecast: rainy. Outlook: sunny."

The company especially wants to target women, younger adults and a more racially diverse audience.

Liz Brooking, Palm's senior director of marketing communications, told CNET that the campaign will include ads in highly targeted magazines, such as Hispanic Business, and in women's magazines.

"I would say eclectic isn't a bad way to describe it," she said of the ad campaign.

Paul Sagawa, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, is intrigued by Palm's approach.

"Palm has a chance to be essentially the Microsoft of handhelds, and I think this is the kind of thing they need to do to help their operating system be seen as the clear leader," he said.