GeoCities Launches Brand Identity Campaign

Web community GeoCities launched its first major integrated communications program featuring a new brand identity, designed both as a corporate mark and for use in animated Internet applications.

The campaign was developed in conjunction with Young & Rubicam Inc. and includes print and interactive executions. GeoCities will supplement the launch with a radio campaign targeted at key consumer audiences and at the financial community. Spending was not disclosed.

Thomas R. Evans, president and CEO of GeoCities, said: “Our company is just over 4 years old and is a grassroots phenomenon. We have experienced exponential growth and have become a top-five Internet presence without the benefit of any appreciable advertising or marketing. It’s clearly time to step up and articulate what our brand is all about — nearly 3 million consumers have found and joined GeoCities.

“Our new icon and forthcoming campaign embrace and articulate the spirit of GeoCities. We are convinced this effort will increase our visitor traffic, member growth and reach.”

Bruce Nelson, vice chairman of Young & Rubicam, said GeoCities’ new brand identity clearly communicates the company’s consumer focus.

It’s far more than a logo or just the result of a corporate design process. We actually brought the resources of all of the marketing disciplines to bear on this project, which will make the new identity work across media7″

The Y&R companies involved in the launch include Wunderman Cato Johnson, the relationship marketing firm responsible for the print and radio campaigns; Landor, which developed the corporate identity; and Brand Dialogue, which did the animation and interactive executions which will bring the new identity to life on the Web.

The new brand identity engages consumers with a playful character created from the letter “g” and positioned above a new GeoCities corporate logotype. While there is one primary “g” character, Landor has designed a number of iterations or “riffs” of the “g” character – each conveying distinctive moods.

The campaign will kick off with teaser print ads in leading business publications, building over a three-day period. Subsequent ads feature the “g” character and brief factual headlines that convey the scope of GeoCities and its growth (such as “Every day, more people visit here than New York, Paris and London combined.”) The print work breaks Dec. 1 in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TIME and U.S. News & World Report. The radio portion of the campaign will run in major markets.

Animated samples of the new GeoCities logo and digital sound files of the GeoCities radio ads are available her e.

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