Gay.com Comes Out With Cross-Media Campaign

Planet Out’s Gay.com is coming out with an integrated campaign using the theme “More than Meets the Eye,” hoping to boost membership and site traffic.

Spending wasn’t disclosed for the effort, which will run through the end of the year.

The campaign’s central visual image is a man’s legs from the knees down, with underwear around his ankles. That image will appear in online advertising, on billboards and in print ads. The company said it was trying to get across the idea that there’s more to Gay.com than people might initially see.

“The creative was inspired by the general idea that we’re known for being a personals site but there is so much more, so [we asked ourselves] ‘how can we can convey that in a light, fun, provocative way?'” Christy Schaefer, director of creative services for Planet Out, told ClickZ News.

Flash Web executions will appear on mainstream community and lifestyle sites such as Friendster, MySpace, CitySearch, Coolhunting, MensHealth and iFilm. On those sites, ads will be targeted to visitors from cities with a substantial gay population. On Friendster, creatives will appear for those who have “gay” in their profiles and identify themselves as male. Osmosis Medialab in New York executed the media buy.

Advertising will also show up on gay sites, including 365Gay, GayMonkey and GayWired. Additionally, the company has bought space on a number of gay blogs, reaching out to some individually and others through networks. Specifically, Gay.com sought out bloggers who had written about the site’s previous campaigns.

“I think that’s fabulous that we get to give back, in a way,” said Schaefer. “They get to participate. I’m really curious to see how the blogs perform in the long haul.”

Ads will point visitors to a special landing page on Gay.com, where they can view a Web-exclusive video filled with sexual innuendo. The video’s main “character” is a pair of men’s feet, adorned with underwear around the ankles. These feet “meet” other feet, from a construction worker to a cowboy to a S&M enthusiast. Finally, the feet find another pair that measure up. The video finishes up with the tagline in white against a black background.

Users can watch the video, see “behind the scenes” photos from the making of the video and download calendars and wallpaper on the site. The company is also offering a free one-week trial of its premium content in conjunction with the campaign.

Separately, the company is running an online campaign in international markets that uses the same visuals along with messaging tailored to the local markets. Ads will appear in the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Spain and Mexico.

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