At midnight, BuzzFeed went live with a homepage takeover for Old Navy that lets visitors who crave their holiday cheer digital cheerfully obscure a web page with iconic images.
At the top of the BuzzFeed home page, a button will invite visitors to "Deck the Web." Clicking on the button takes them to the app's page, where they can enter a URL, load the page and glitter it out.
People can mix 10 icons, including a penguin with a muffler, a snowflake and a reindeer, splashing them on as appropriate -- or not. For example, one sample shows a male model with a pasted-on Santa hat and beard; he's flanked by a bundled-up penguin, and his bio is obscured by strings of holiday lights.
"We were trying to make something endearing and engaging for the holidays that matched other things Old Navy was doing," said Jeff Greenspan, chief creative officer at BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed creatives worked with AKQA, Old Navy's digital agency, to develop and present ideas to the client, Greenspan said. "Old Navy has a lot of initiatives focused on the holidays, and we helped amplify a lot of that work."
BuzzFeed will run a total of eight sponsored posts for Old Navy over the course of the holiday season, according to account manager Ben Rosen. Three will support Old Navy Lightacular, a contest on Facebook for the most outrageous lighting display. For example, one sponsored editorial slide show is, "10 Places That Take Christmas Decorations Really Seriously."
After they've decorated a page, consumers can send the decorated page to others, via a custom link generated by the Deck the Web app, as well as share it on Facebook or Twitter. The takeover isn't limited to BuzzFeed.com. Thanks to HTML frames, people can decorate any web page of their choice. HTML frames allow for multiple views in sub-windows that keep some information visible while other views are scrolled or replaced.
The execs would not detail the metrics or cost basis for the campaign, other than that it's a mix of impressions and pay-for-performance.
Rosen did say, "People get into the spirit of decorating their homes and office, but this is the first time you get the opportunity to deck the internet."
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
March 19, 2014