RAM: Nascar Finds the Magic Touch

Traditional television advertising is simple compared to the postmodern ways that marketers are reaching consumers. For example, a venture between Coca-Cola and Nascar cleverly blurs the lines of online media, video, and gaming.

At the start of the Nascar racing season in May, Coke quietly introduced a new form of clickable entertainment on the heavily trafficked site.

Each week throughout the racing season, Coke and MediaVest, its agency partner, added two- to three-minute video highlights compiled from the previous weekend's races. Working with technology firm Avant Interactive, the soft drink marketer then turned parts of the video into "hotspots," enabling users to click on a car, for instance, to bring up a separate listing with facts about Nascar. Karna Crawford, interactive brand manager for Coke, calls it "touchable interactive video."

The video contains anywhere from 10 to 20 embedded links each week, with one link leading to a registration page for a contest. Consumers seem to have responded. The average viewer watches each video at least 2.5 times, says Tom Tercek, president of SMG Access, the MediaVest unit that's shepherding the project. Nascar fans have an insatiable appetite for information about their favorite drivers, Tercek says, and the Coke program serves that need.

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