KOL, Red Relaunch As Free Portals

AOL next week will relaunch its kids' service KOL and teen service Red, making both sites available for free Web-wide.

The move is part of AOL's larger strategy to draw visitors to sites that previously were open only to subscribers. The sites have been overhauled for a Web-wide audience, said Malcolm Bird, senior vice president for kids and teens at AOL. "The redesigns encompass every single page of the kids' and teens' services being moved into a more Web-friendly, Web-navigable experience."

AOL also will break ad campaigns next week to promote the sites. For KOL, the company will run banner ads created by the Attik agency on Web sites of Time Warner's Cartoon Network, the independently owned Kaboose Network, and Viacom's Nickelodeon and Neopets. The campaign's tagline is "KOL Smells Like Adventure," with the Web creatives starring a floating, disembodied nose, and the print creatives featuring scratch-and-sniff spots.

Ads for Red, which is targeted at teens, will run on sites including MTV's Quizilla, Google's YouTube and Xanga. The creative features the "R" in "Red" turned upside-down to form a stylized rabbit head, drawn to represent various emoticons, including "stressed," "grumpy," "freaked," "flirty," and "psyched."

The new Red will go live Monday, while KOL will relaunch Thursday.

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