Gillette has jumped into the virtual ring with World Wrestling Entertainment.
Gillette, in its "Be a Superstar" campaign, is sponsoring a microsite on the WWE network. The microsite, which launched July 16, features a series of one to two minute online video advertisements starring three WWE wrestlers who discuss how Gillette products fit into their lifestyles.
Four videos are currently posted with a total of 15, five for each wrestler, planned for the 16-week campaign. Gillette is paying a CPM rate with a level of impressions guaranteed for the program, said Joe DelGrosso, senior vice president of sales and sponsorship marketing for WWE.
For WWE it's a new form of branded entertainment, "an interactive experience that utilizes original content that connects with the brand," DelGrosso said.
This is not the first time that Gillette has worked with WWE. Last year, John Cena, one of the featured wrestlers in the "Be a Superstar" campaign, appeared in a series of TV spots on behalf of Gillette and created by BBDO.
"TV has been the lion's share of our ad spend but the digital platform has been important," said Mike Norton, a Gillette spokesman. "It's a great way to target guys and connect with their passion points."
The online videos are being posted on YouTube and Facebook the same time they appear on the microsite. They will also be shown on WWE's pay-per-view TV and live stadium events.
"Be a Superstar" microsite also features a photo gallery and comments section that allows fans to post their own content. They can vote on their favorite pictures and comment on the videos.
Banner and pre-roll ads at www.wwe.com are being used to promote the microsite.
Nate Elliott, a Forrester Research analyst, said Yahoo has run microsites with long-form video content from film studios and he thinks Gillette's microsite will be successful because it uses professional wrestlers as spokesmen for the brand. The microsite is indicative of the growth in the use of online video, which now ranks first for teens and second for adults as their favorite form of online content. "Marketers are getting involved in social networks and blogs, but video is the most popular for users," he said.
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