AT&T Wireless Services Inc. has "taken over" the homepages of seven major websites in a first-of-its-kind holiday blitz. The brainchild of Avenue A and White Horse, the campaign is a five-day rich media advertising bonanza on Ask Jeeves, Weather.com, About.com, CBS Marketwatch, CNET, ZDNET, and My Simon. The online segment of AT&T Wireless Services' multi-channel holiday promotion was designed to increase awareness of AT&T Wireless Network Quality and emphasize AT&T Shared Advantage and Digital Advantage calling plans. The animated ads mark the company's first large scale online brand campaign.
The New York Times and NYTimes.com have announced the launch of The Tolkien Archives: A Guide to the World of J.R.R. Tolkien is part of a multifaceted print and online advertising program that coincides with the December 19, 2001, release of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" from New Line Cinema. The Tolkien program began with print ads in September and a four color, two-page spread in The New York Times Holiday Film Preview section in November, and print ads will continue running until the film's release. The online component of the program, NYTimes.com/Tolkien, will be updated weekly until 2002 and showcases archived New York Times book reviews and other feature articles from the past 60 years. The Tolkien program is the first integrated advertising package created by The New York Times for the theatrical release of a motion picture.
From magical rings, to high school rings. The got milk? / Milk Mustache campaign, in partnership with USA Today, kicked off the fifth annual Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY) awards, which singles out 25 high school senior student athletes nationwide and rewards them for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. In the past four years, the Milk Mustache campaign has awarded $750,000 in scholarship money. The SAMMY scholarship program rewards high school scholar athletes who know the importance of good nutrition to help fuel academic and athletic activity. A celebrity panel of milk mustache athletes, including Kurt Warner, Cal Ripken Jr, Marion Jones, Mat Hoffman, Mia Hamm, Pete Sampras and Tony Hawk, will select scholar athletes to receive a $7,500 scholarship and spot in a special milk mustache ad that will run in USA Today, Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine. Winners also will receive a trip to Disney's Wide World of Sports Milk House to take part in a special ceremony. Last year's 25 SAMMY superstars were selected from nearly 10,000 applicants.
In website news, Amazon.com launched Amazon Access, an alternative version of its website, designed to make online shopping easier for the visually impaired by using screen access software. The site is a streamlined version of Amazon.com's standard site with less text and graphics, providing access to Amazon.com's full line of products and personalization features. The text and user functions are fully compatible with screen access software, which reads aloud the text and links displayed for the user. The software allows users to enter text, jump from link to link and navigate a site through the use of special keystrokes. On the Amazon Access site, customers can browse, search and utilize 1-Click buying through simple actions.
Another company looking out for the disabled - Boeing - has re-launched its website, which now features an updated look and improved navigation capabilities. The extensively revamped site includes updated graphics and animation. Visitors can move from one section to another without first having to revisit the home page, making it easier to "drill down" to a specific page of information. Updated navigation features also improve the website's compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. For example, every page that makes use of Flash is also delivered in a text-only printer-friendly format so that people with physical disabilities requiring assistive devices on their computers can still surf the Boeing website.
Lastly, in overseas news, Monster.com announced the monster re-branding of its Swiss site Monster.ch, as part of its continued developmental strategy in Europe. The acquisition of Jobline International AB in July 2001 included Switzerland as one of five new countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, and Finland) for Monster.com and solidified Monster's European presence. The launch of Monster Switzerland marks the first of Monster's branding initiatives in these new countries, expanding the reach of Monster's online career management service and content across the European continent.
This newsletter is compiled weekly by MediaPost staff writer Adam Bernard. Past issues are archived at the MediaPost website. Your comments, questions and submissions are always welcome and appreciated.