IAR Bits and Bytes

Levi Strauss At It Again with New “Lost” Campaign

San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co. is pitching its pants in an online movie.

The movie, LostChange, launched Friday is a three-part campaign that asks the question, “What Would You Do If You Found $100,000?” seeks to lure consumers into interactive adventure by offering prizes.

The Internet film from Levi’s SilverTab division features hip-hop artist Fredro Starr and cameo appearances by the Black Eyed Peas, actors Drea De Matteo and Vincent Pastore from the Sopranos and Jacqui Maxwell from The Gilmore Girls.

Surfers are encouraged to take part in games and prizes, including a CD with exclusive tracks from the Black Eyed Peas; Motorola two-way pagers, V.100 cell phones and T900 TalkAbout radios; and SilverTab clothing. The experience also includes online shopping.

The film is another example of the blurring of the line between the world of entertainment and marketing. Earlier this year, BMW Films launched its “The Hire” film series on the Web, and continues to produce and market edgy online films that promote the company’s cars.

The “Lost” series was first introduced in 2000, with “Lost But Not Lost,” a Web site detailing a high-tech travel adventure in Morocco, using characters’ travel log, print ads and film clips. In spring 2001, SilverTab debuted “LostArcade,” a play-for-prizes challenge featuring several interactive games.

Jupiter Appoints New CEO

New York-based research firm Jupiter Media Metrix has a new chief executive, former Infosis chairman and CEO Robert Becker.

Becker, who will also serve on the company’s board of directors, succeeds Tod Johnson, who will remain with Jupiter Media Metrix as chairman of the board. Johnson resigned the CEO post in March to concentrate on running his other business, offline metrics firm NPD Group, which spun out Media Metrix in 1996.

Before joining Jupiter, Becker served as the head of Infosis, a B2B research play. Previously, Becker spent 13 years with financial publisher and information service The Thomson Corporation.

New Line Taps Riot Entertainment for Wireless “Rings” Promo

London-based wireless firm Riot Entertainment is overseeing a U.K.-based campaign for New Line Cinema’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

Through a deal that hands over the exclusive handheld wireless interactive game rights for the film series, RIOT-E said it would develop games for fans of the J.R.R. Tolkien novels, and for gaming communities at large.

The firm said it’s currently creating content for one such game, which should be deployed later this summer in Europe, Asia and United States. Other games will follow throughout the three films.

RIOT-E said it can reach up to 110 million wireless users through partnerships with mobile phone operations in Europe and Asia, a figure that it says it expects to increase to 300 million by the end of the summer.

RIOT-E also has similar agreements with Marvel Enterprises, Twentieth Century Fox and Helen Fielding, author of Bridget Jones’ Diary.

The first film of the New Line Cinema trilogy, “The Fellowship of the Ring,” premieres in December. The second and third films are scheduled to launch in December 2002 and 2003, respectively.

DoubleClick Signs New E-mail Clients

New York-based ad network and technology firm DoubleClick signed up 25 new clients for its permission email marketing services during the past two months.

With these new clients — including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Publishers Clearing House, Excite UK, The Journal of Commerce Group, National Post Online, Harvard Business School Publishing, and AutoTrader.com — DoubleClick’s DARTmail service has grown its customer base to over 250 clients worlwide.

The DARTmail platform will enable these new clients to deliver integrated email marketing campaigns that are personalized and individually targeted to their customers and prospects.

Over the last few quarters, DoubleClick has increased its investment in the email marketing technology business with the acquisition of FloNetwork, which closed in April, and the pending acquisition of MessageMedia.

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