IAR Bits and Bytes

Unicast Campaign for StartupJournal Sees Big Results

New York-based rich media ad firm Unicast said its recent campaign for StartupJournal.com saw tremendous success.

StartupJournal.com, The Wall Street Journal’s online site for entrepreneurs, launched an ad campaign designed by Baltimore-based agency Trahan Burden & Charles. The “Mind your own business” campaign aimed to increase awareness and to generate qualified leads for the site.

A key requirement of the online advertising was that it be consistent with offline ads, which included newspaper and magazine ads in addition to Web banners and interstitials. About 5 percent of the media buy was allocated to Unicast’s Superstitials, since the agency had no experience with the format previously.

The Superstitial creative, which was based on Flash, illustrated a set of five areas of information that could be found on StartupJournal.com — marketing, financing, franchising, hiring and incorporating.

Despite the small buy, the Superstital outperformed other online media, generating more than 33 percent of all visits to the site after seeing an online ad. Additionally, the Superstitial received an approximate click-through rate of 9 percent.

Overall, the Superstitial supplied nearly 11 percent of the total visits to the StartupJournal site, including those attributed to offline advertising referrals.

Mediadome, FanPC Team for NFL Effort

Santa Clara, Calif.-based software firm Mediadome is partnering with FanPC to create a 3D Web browser branded with the NFL.

FanPC has a deal with the National Football League to create a team-branded personal computer — dubbed the SportsFanPC. That computer will also ship with Mediadome’s Super Browser, a branded, 3D environment.

The FanPC Super Browser is designed to make users feel as if they’re in their favorite team’s football stadium. Clicking on screens placed throughout the stadium links to related Web sites — which could foreseeably pay a fee for referrals.

The Super Browser “allows us to take the FanPC vision to the next level, extending the team’s branding possibilities beyond the hardware we create and onto the Internet where Mediadome’s visual bookmarking technologies will help us to tap into additional revenue streams online,” said FanPC chairman and chief executive Rob Howe.

Mediadome, meanwhile, said it expects to stimulate revenue opportunities for FanPC and the NFL by creating virtual real estate for advertisers and partners. In a previous Mediadome trial, the company said it generated a 6 percent click-through rate on contextually placed advertising.

“We are thrilled to be working with FanPC on such an exciting new product,” said Jay Diamond, Mediadome president and CEO. “Together we can not only create a superior end-user experience but the branding opportunities for the NFL and other sports leagues are endless.”

The first NFL-branded SportsFanPCs will be sold online and by phone starting in mid-September.

Winstar Interactive Media Adds to Roster

Just weeks after being purchased by offline media representation giant Interep, online ad rep Winstar Interactive Media signed three firms to its client roster.

Now, the New York-based company — which began as a unit of broadband firm Winstar, currently in Chapter 11 — will serve as the exclusive online advertising sales representative for Kiplinger.com, email newsletter Emode, and online casino PlayMGMMirage.com.

As with its other clients, WIM said it maintains a strict policy of accepting well known, branded sites. Accordingly, Kiplinger.com is the online presence of the personal finance magazine publisher; Emode has about seven million subscribers to its personality tests and associated email newsletters; and PlayMGMMirage.com is operated by Silicon Gaming/WagerWorks and is associated with major Las Vegas casinos like the MGM Grand, Bellagio, and the Mirage.

“Winstar Interactive Media is known throughout the industry for representing Web properties that have strong brand recognition, significant traffic and a heritage of online innovation,” said WIM president John Durham. “With our new siblings at Interep Interactive, WIM will be able to offer Kiplinger.com, Emode and WagerWorks a wider variety of marketing programs, such as joint sales with radio stations, sweepstakes, billboards, and sponsored messages delivered via email to handheld devices and cell phones to enhance their online marketing messages.”

IBM Debuts Sponsorship of U.S. Open with New Campaign

IBM will be promoting its Web hosting business through a new interactive ad and marketing campaign surrounding its sponsorship of the U.S. Open Tennis Championship.

The national campaign includes print advertising, interactive banner ads and drive-to-Web email messages. The ads focus on the “behind-the-scenes” aspects of IBM’s e-business hosting at the U.S. Open, for which it hosts the usopen.org site.

The ads will direct IT professionals and executive-level decision-makers to videos that demonstrate IBM personnel working on hosting the usopen.org site, which is expected to get heavy traffic as the tournament is one of the most-attended annual sporting events in the world. Attendance last year reached 604,000.

As a result, IBM will be touting the robustness of its Web hosting, as well as many new interactive elements. For one, the site will contain features like live traffic updates, which fans driving to the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., can sign up to receive up-to-the-minute traffic reports via Internet-enabled mobile phones, pagers or PDAs.

Similarly, fans also can sign up to receive match results delivered to wireless devices, play interactive games on the Web site, and view live audio, video clips, and scores.

Real Media to Resell Topica E-mail

New York-based ad network Real Media will resell email marketing firm Topica’s software to clients, in an effort to market an all-in-one Internet publishing tool.

Through terms of the partnership, Real Media will offer Topica’s E-mail Publisher software to the more than 1,000 clients of its OpenAdStream ad server.

The companies said they would work to have the two products fully integrated, creating a one-stop-shop for Web and email ad serving.

Real Media said it’s found significant demand for such an offering. Nearly 8 out of 10 of its customers said they augment their Web marketing activities with email newsletters today, and the remainder reported active plans to begin communicating with readers via email. When asked what was missing from most email offerings, respondents most frequently named control over creating and managing their email products and integrated ad serving.

“Our customers made it clear that they wanted a customizable email newsletter publishing tool, and our commitment to deliver state-of-the-art solutions necessitated that we conduct a comprehensive search for the best newsletter solution partner,” said Silvana Imperiali, who is Real Media’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

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