Home Page Takeover/Sponsorship
Takeovers are among the highest-profile online ads, and the most difficult to execute well.
Editor's Note: There was no winner selected in this category.
Dewar's White Label/Onion News Network
Deep Focus: Nick Cogan, Senior Creative Director; Erik Blair, Creative Director; Sean Branin, Art Director; Rhonda Shade, Account Director; Melissa Karten, Project Manager
Dewar's: Ned Duggan, Brand Manager
By sponsoring the launch of the Onion News Network site this past spring, Dewar's White Label positioned itself as fun and snarky enough to attract the youthful consumer.
Deep Focus worked with Onion writers to create an ad as funny as the content it surrounded. Since Dewar's has been "a proud sponsor of the Onion News Network since 1898," the spot is shot in the style of an old-fashioned silent movie. Black-and-white footage shows folks gulping drinks and ends with the message that "Dewar's and news go together... like kilts and prancing" - a point illustrated by, yes, men in kilts prancing around hilariously.
The ad garnered more than 500,000 views during the site's preview period. The introductory 3-second pre-roll was also "short enough to be a "game-changer in the online video space," according to Deep Focus. By serving as launch sponsor, Dewar's was part of the press buzz surrounding the site's debut (including an on-air screen capture of the ad on CNN) - and also capitalized on the passion the Onion's existing audience had for the new property.
True North: Tom Goosmann, Chief Creative Officer; Derek Little, Creative Director; Bart Henderson, Associate Creative Director; Jarrod Ballou, Designer; Carolyn Mowatt, Account Supervisor
ABC Entertainment: Darren Schillace, Vice President Advertising and Marketing
With striking visual and interactive elements in its intro ad and follow-up takeover of the MSN home page, True North sought to get viewers to tune in to Lost's third season after a seven-week hiatus.
The intro used the "smoke monster," a key mystery icon from the show, to float over the page and attract the user's eye. When users clicked for more information, the ad expanded into an interactive microsite where videos of the last cliffhangers played.
Here, Lost audiences - both casual and fanatic - could get up to speed. Video monitors played highlights from the first half of the season, and an interactive cast bio section allowed users to click on a character's photo for clips and voiceover summarizing the character's arc.
Additional interactive features included downloadable MSN messenger character icons, wallpapers, links to ABC.com to watch full episodes, and a link to the Lost cell phone game.
UNIVERSAL McCANN, LOS ANGELES
Sony Pictures/"Spider-Man 3"
Sony Pictures: Dwight Caines, Executive Vice President, World-Wide Digital Marketing Strategy; Joe Epstein, Executive Director, World-Wide Digital Marketing Strategy
Universal McCann: Elias Plishner, Senior Vice President, Digital Communications; Alison Starr, Director, Digital Communications; Travis Harding, Supervisor, Digital Communications
To promote the premiere of "Spider-Man 3," universal McCann engineered a morphing image on youth-focused entertainment site ign.com that symbolized a key theme in the movie.
In the film, Spider-Man's battle with his inner darkness manifests itself physically by transforming his red suit into black. To see the color change up close, users clicked on a prompt to "Unleash the Darkness Within and transform IGN" - and black ooze spread across the closely cropped, iconic image of the Spider-Man suit in its original red, until the black suit was revealed. Then, images from the film played on an adjacent video unit.
The takeover of IGN's channel homepages was effective in several ways. Interaction rates totaled 51.4 percent, with high repeat interactions. The movie went on to achieve the highest weekend box office in history, grossing over $151 million.