June 23, 2021

Gateway Essential PC (commercial 1999)

In 1999, Gateway 2000 had dropped the 2000 from their name and was making a little more noise than usual because now their cheap PCs were below $999, including a monitor and everything!

The sub-$1000 PC was new to the market and bizarrely, some doubted there was a market for it. Well, there sure was and not long after there was no market for the over-$1000 PC.

The ad reminds you that other cheap ($999) PCs don’t include monitors and don’t come with all the “helpful” free software pre-installed to clog up your hard drive and slow your machine down. It also tells us you’ll get free internet (*for a year, $3.95 for rural access that’s a heck of a twist for a company that uses cows as their logo, also don’t go over 150 hours in a month or you’ll pay surcharges). This internet was of course dial-up, which wasn’t considered bad at the the time, but the other limitations were probably a bit annoying.

The mini-tower shown seems to come with a pair of stereo speakers and a 13″ CRT monitor, plus of course a keyboard and mouse.

The ad ends by telling you it comes with an Intel Celeron processor and with the Intel Inside jingle. The jingle at the end was relatively new at this time, but continues to this day. Every ad with that jingle at the end is partially paid for out of Intel’s ad budget.

This 30 second spot aired during a 1999 showing of Pirates of Silicon Valley.


For more information on this event click here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO79sc3D1q8
March 6, 1999
https://thewho.app/wp-content/uploads/video_thumbs/16141.jpg