IAR Bits and Bytes for Friday

Y&R Rolls Out Covad Campaign

Young & Rubicam, San Francisco launched a new ad campaign today for Covad Communications designed to differentiate the DSL provider from its telco competitors.

Television spots will run in three major markets, and print work with an interactive component will appear in various entertainment, technology and business publications later this month, the company said.

Spokespeople say the creatives, which feature the tagline: “DSL is in our DNA,” reflect Covads committed, yet nonconformist attitude as a broadband carrier.

“We wanted to depict Covad as a company that is serious about delivering DSL, but doesnt take itself too seriously,” said Katie Barni, associate creative director at Y&R, San Francisco.

One of the spots is aimed at local telco competition, featuring a press conference where an aging phone company executive reads a speech littered with outdated slang in an attempt to appear modern.

Thirty- and 60-second television spots will premiere today in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco and will be seen nationwide on ESPN, CNN and the Discovery Channel.

“Unlike the phone companies, Covad’s sole focus is on providing both small businesses and consumers with high-speed, always-on Internet access,” said Dustin Grosse, senior director of brand marketing for Covad. “We wanted our advertising to demonstrate that Covad is an alternative and superior choice for those seeking a broadband DSL solution for use at work or at home.”

Y&R’s print ads take a slightly different tack in an effort to suggest that Covad DSL can help consumers get to any site on the Internet. Each of the print ads feature a URL that takes readers to Y&R-created Web sites like www.hamster-taxidermy.com. The ads will appear in several new economy business publications.

Grey Partners With Wink for Interactive Ads

Grey Global Group and Internet ad tech company Wink Communications Thursday announced a deal to offer Wink’s advertising to its clients.

Wink’s product allows advertisers to create television spots with which viewers can interact by clicking their remote controls.

Under the agreement, Grey will offer Wink’s interactive advertising technology and response processing services to clients across a range of industries, including health care, consumer products, food service and direct response businesses.

“Transactional TV services, like those pioneered by Wink, will be a fundamental component of the interactive TV marketplace. Our clients are looking to work with the interactive services and we intend to make it easy for them to do so,” said Alec Gerster, executive vice president for media ventures for the Grey Global Group.

ePrizeSM and Contest.com Partner to Provide Online Promotional Services

Internet sweepstakes company ePrize said it has entered into a partnership with prize and promotion portal Contest.com to offer each other’s services to clients.

Through terms of the deal, ePrize will provide Contest.com’s clients with sweepstakes and promotion services. For its part, Contest.com will offer ePrize clients on-site advertising packages that include keyword, user profile and banner ad buys, as well as placement on the site.

“The success of any online sweepstakes promotion is directly related to a targeted online advertising campaign,” said ePrize founder and chief executive Josh Linkner. “ePrize’s results-based promotions services combined with Contest.com’s ability to offer targeted advertising packages, comprise a complementary offering for successful interactive marketing campaigns.”

Fox Television Unveils Fall Season Superstitial

20th Century Fox Television will promote one of its shows slated for the fall season using ad technology company Unicast‘s proprietary rich media interstitial.

The “Superstitial” supporting the new action-adventure television series by James Cameron, “Dark Angel,” was designed by Fox’s in-house agency.

The “Dark Angel” campaign will kick-off next week and run until the end of October on sports site Rivals.com, Playboy.com, and various sites throughout the HearMe/Mplayer video gaming network, including Gameboy, eFront and Quake3.

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