IAR Bits and Bytes

B2BWorks, Northern Light Team for Keyword Ads

Chicago-based ad network B2BWorks says it will begin offering keyword-based ads on search engine Northern Light, in a bid to beef up its products for advertisers.

Terms nor period were not disclosed of the agreement, which a Northern Light representative categorized as “long-term.”

Through the deal, B2BWorks is expected to sell ads across the Northern Light search engine, which gets its results from the Web and form Northern Light’s own directory of over 7100 full-text publications, which might not otherwise be available to Web searchers.

The ads include keyword-based text links, banners, and skyscraper ads, in addition to category-specific and run-of-site packages.

B2BWorks said the agreement makes it a “one-stop-shop” for business-to-business marketers — boosting its current email, Web media, research and standalone ad serving offerings.

“Partnering with Northern Light is a natural for B2BWorks,” said Karen Breen Vogel, who is B2BWorks’ senior vice president of strategy. “Northern Light’s search engine is the B2B market-leader and delivers the key audiences that B2BWorks’ Fortune 1000 clients desire.”

Northern Light, meanwhile, said the deal would likely help it better monetize its business-to-business audience.

Framfab Develops Customer Acquisition Tool for Volvo

Swedish interactive shop Framfab said it has completed work on a customer acquisition tool for Volvo Car Corp.

Framfab said Volvo’s new Web-based data collection and management system, which it unveiled Monday, is aimed at aiding the automaker in reaching new customers, by ensuring that potential buyers receive a rapid, targeted response from the manufacturer’s representatives and dealers.

One way that Framfab said it would do this is by integrating information on potential customers from a myriad of sources — including the Web, resellers and call centers. As a result, Volvo dealers can use the application to call up in-depth information about a consumer’s preferences, as gleaned from their Web behavior.

Framfab said the service — which will be launched initially in the European market, in October — should give Volvo the edge in converting potential buyers to customers. It also can be re-purposed for a customer relationship management (CRM) effort — maintaining records on and facilitating Volvo’s cross-channel communication with customers.

Cartoon Network, Nintendo Launch Promotion

Cartoon Network is launching a new online-offline contest in conjunction with Nintendo of America, which is looking to build buzz around the launch of its newest gaming console.

Nintendo is the exclusive sponsor of a five-day contest that requires entrants to watch the AOL Time Warner cable channel’s afternoon program lineup, and then go online to play a game against teams of other users.

Beginning Monday, the “Lockdown” contest will encourage users to watch Cartoon Network’s Toonami programs for three codes. Participants then enter the codes on Cartoon Network’s Web site, which enables them to reach the highest scores in an online game.

Each day during the contest, Toonami’s virtual host, TOM, will announce on-air which team of participants is in the lead. At the end of the week, the winning team will receive a special reward, Cartoon Network said.

Meanwhile, visitors to the Toonami site will receive ads and information on the Nintendo GameCube, along with ways to enter a drawing for a console and six games. The system is expected to debut in mid-November, close to the launch date of Microsoft’s rival X-BOX system.

Players in the Toonami contest also are incentivized to recruit friends into the contest, receiving additional codes for each referral.

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