Gorilla Nation Adds Geek Reach to Network with StarWars.com

Ad representation firm Gorilla Nation has added to its repertoire of geek oriented properties, signing an ad repping deal with Lucasfilm’s Star Wars branded sites. Gorilla Nation will represent online ad inventory for both StarWars.com and the StarWarsKids.com sites.

StarWars.com made its selection based on Gorilla Nation’s experience providing non-banner integrated ad units, like site re-skins and microsites, according to Lisa Sullivan-Cross, director of online revenue for Lucasfilm. StarWars.com already experiments with non-traditional advertising, having developed an ad unit it calls a “sliver” which expands to cover 75 percent of the site.

“Our goal is to go beyond the banner and create sponsorships and integrated ad units that visitors are going to enjoy and think are cool,” Sullivan-Cross said.

The company timed the contract with Gorilla Nation to take advantage its upcoming animated feature film and television series, The Clone Wars, as well as the expected release of next year’s Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game. A site redesign will promote the new titles. Lucasfilm intends to provide content based on its overall Star Wars brand, along with new animated content, to its traditional 18- to 35-year-old demographic and a new generation of kids and their parents, Sullivan-Cross said.

StarWars.com was previously represented by National Ad Force in Chicago, but Gorilla Nation is now installing content from its network, including Valentine’s Day ads from XM Radio, as well as executions from Adobe and Verizon. Over time StarWars.com will carry more advertising for entertainment brands, including toys, games and video games, she said.

The addition of StarWars.com is another notch in Gorilla Nation’s list of geek oriented sci-fi, comics and horror oriented Web sites, including Marvel.com, Fangoria.com, eBaum’s World, Major League Gaming and others. Even so, the company doesn’t like to describe its publisher’s audiences as geeks. It prefers to call them passionate, according to Matt Stodder, VP of sales strategy for Gorilla Nation.

“The Geek demographic equals a passionate demographic,” he said. “There are consistent patterns across all these passionate entertainment sites. There is higher engagement and higher loyalty to the sites.”

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