Briefing.com Making CNBC Ad Buy

Online market information site Briefing.com aims to take advantage of bargain-basement prices by launching a multi-million dollar cross-media ad campaign.

The Chicago-based company is paying $2 million for television ads on CNBC and other networks, in addition to an undisclosed print, Web and radio buy.

The ads, designed by Chicago-based agency of record Killian & Company, aim to portray Briefing.com and its live updates from market analysts as the Internet site for “analysis” — rather than bare-bones or condensed information from financial news media.

The campaign’s TV spot, “Tin Can,” breaks this week on CNBC. The rest of the media plan is still being tweaked, said Briefing.com spokeswoman Cassandra Bayna. The company is considering extending the cable buy to other financial networks, while Web banner ads likely will go live before the end of the month, potentially on market news sites like CBS MarketWatch.com.

Radio and magazine executions will debut in coming months.

The TV spot closes with “Don’t settle with information, get a briefing,” although Bayna said the five-year-old company tagline (“The perfect companion to online trading”) will appear in other media executions.

While dot-coms largely have fallen out of the traditional advertising mix — as the sharp decline in dot-com Super Bowl spots from last year attests — the soft across-the-board ad market apparently means that some online plays can again hope to make a big media splash.

“Basically, we’re just taking advantage of the soft ad market right now,” Bayna said. “We are an employee-owned, private company, so we definitely have funds to do this, and we might as well take advantage of market downturn as well.”

But rather than dropping a large-sum ad budget on a major, Super Bowl-like buy, the Briefing.com campaign is designed to have legs for some time. Bayna said the company’s planning to use the campaign “anywhere from two to five years,” she said, and the initial $2 million cable spend buys two years’ worth of media.

Additionally, executives said that the company hopes to parlay the fact that it’s one of the few dot-com players making traditional media buy into a competitive advantage.

“While other firms retreat, our increased marketing efforts will have even greater impact,” said Briefing.com president Dick Green. “The current industry weakness provides Briefing.com with an excellent opportunity to expand market share.”

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