Out To Launch
Yo Quiero Xbox? Microsoft Corp. has announced that Taco Bell Corp. has signed on as the first promotional partner for the launch of the Microsoft Xbox video game system. The companies plan to combine their brands in a promotional campaign to reach their shared target audiences across the United States and Canada. Taco Bell will provide substantial media support that will aggressively publicize Xbox, and the company will host major in-store promotions to support the Xbox launch.
How about a helping of erotica with your news and gossip? The Internet magazine Salon.com has launched a new subscription service that offers premium, ad-free content, including something called "erotic art and photography." The new service has a $30 annual fee, and is designed to bring in additional revenue for Salon, which has depended mostly on advertising to support its free Internet magazine.
The Arena Football League (AFL) has entered into a partnership with Ignite Sports Media for the re-launch of the AFL's and arenafootball2's website at www.arenafootball.com. The re-launch happened just prior to the kick-off of the AFL's 15th season. Content will include a page for each team in the AFL and af2, press releases, statistics, photos, and wire news on the AFL and NFL, editorial features, community bulletin boards, multimedia, polls, screensavers, moderated chat rooms and message boards allowing fans to communicate with one another, as well as coaches, players, and the Commissioner. The promotion of arenafootball.com will include all available media, including cable and broadcast television, radio, print media, posters, publications and direct mail, jumbotron, dasher boards, bill boards, and PR material as well as links from NFL.com, the National Football League's official website.
In conjunction with the rollout of the new "Life Tastes Good" global advertising campaign, The Coca-Cola Company has unveiled an all-new corporate website at www.coca-cola.com. The updated site uses interactive features to advance the "Life Tastes Good" campaign's goal. The new site is an integrated part of the new advertising campaign, and provides access to an all-new corporate information center with resources for consumers, investors and journalists. As part of the effort, Coke has launched two different SUPERSTITIAL ads, mirroring the offline effort. One of the SUPERSTITIAL ads enables viewers to download animated characters to their desktops, while the other enables the viewing of two of the Coke TV spots. The campaign will run on CompuServe/AOL, ESPN.com, Rollingstone.com, E!Online, Sony.com, MTVi and Excite.com as well as on the DoubleClick, Engage and IGN networks. Creative for the multi-million impression SUPERSTITIAL component of the campaign was done by Zentropy.
Animated movie ogre Shrek, and his best friend Donkey, are the latest characters to be featured in ads from the Newspaper Association of America encouraging young people to read. The ads are timed to run in conjunction with the movie's release on May 18. The ad, which comes in three sizes (quarter page, half page and full page), is available to download at http://www.naa.org/display/shrek. Newspapers are encouraged to run the ads throughout May. Actor Mike Myers voices Shrek, the title character of the digitally animated film from PDI/Dreamworks; Eddie Murphy is his sidekick and pal, Donkey.
Sony Electronics today unveiled its integrated, year-long, marketing communications plans in support of the company's consumer audio/video (AV) and information technology (IT) products. In conjunction with Young & Rubicam Advertising, Sony announced three major ``platform campaigns,'' centering around three core platforms; personal networking, home entertainment, and portable audio. The campaigns are designed to showcase Sony's leadership in AV/IT convergence, while allowing for individual executions of key product categories. Two of the multi-million dollar campaigns kick off this month with network and cable television spots as well as print executions. The third will launch in June.
Harpersbazaar.com, an online extension of Harper's BAZAAR, has been launched. The site is a result of a seven-month long collaboration between Iguana Studios, a Change Technology Partner, Harper's BAZAAR and Hearst Interactive Studios, a unit of Hearst Communications. Harpersbazaar.com is a fashion utility featuring interactive shopping guides, trend tests, fashion reviews, news and other features that keep users as current with the fashion world. The site's features include interactive shopping guides, trend tests, fashion reviews, and news. In addition, the site also features an AvantGo channel that gives users the ability to download shopping guides for New York, London, Milan and Paris, plus a new city each month, onto their handheld devices.
StockPricePredictor has launched http://www.PatentValuePredictor.com , which provides two new patent valuation services. The Automated Patent Valuation service allows a user to select a patent, and obtain valuation reports on the patent. The report provides the nominal size of the patent protected market and the valuation of the patent. Multiple patents can be selected. This service can be used to objectively and rapidly value a patent portfolio of a company.
iWant.com, a Direct Response Advertising Infrastructure provider, launched a "Spring Break Click-Fest" promotion which offers advertisers 1,000 free clicks to test Instant Opt-In, a new direct response advertising service that averages greater than 25% clickthrough rate and 5% conversion rate. Through the end of May, a new advertiser can sign-up for an Instant Opt-In program ($10,000 minimum) and start the campaign with an additional 1000 free click trial. If after receiving the 1,000 free clicks, the advertiser is not satisfied for any reason, they can cancel the rest of the program with no obligation and no cost.
The Weather Channel is launching a national campaign, on air and online, to heighten public awareness about the dangers of overexposure to the sun, while enabling people to safely enjoy the outdoors. The Weather Channel is teaming with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) for the launch of the Rays Awareness campaign over the Memorial Day weekend. Beginning May 26, The Weather Channel network will air a three-part sun-safety package, featuring its on-camera meteorologists. The spots will run hourly throughout Memorial Day weekend and then be integrated into the daily forecasts for the remainder of the summer.
Hip-hop culture is continuing to permeate the world, and one major website that represents it, www.GlobalHipHop.com, has just re-launched. The site contains reviews and commentary from the hip-hop world, audio samples of songs, lists of upcoming concerts and events, and past concerts and events of note. GlobalHipHop currently contains nearly 50 audio clips, and over 100 album reviews. The site is ad-supported.
- Compiled by MediaPost staff writer Adam Bernard. He may be reached at Adambernard@mediapost.com or 203-222-0330 ext. 319