Lycos Asia Debuts New Ad Campaign

Lycos Asia is spending millions on a new advertising campaign designed to boost awareness of the company’s presence in the region.

Starting this week, Singapore-based Lycos Asia will run television spots designed by Bcom3’s Leo Burnett, aiming to position the portal as the Internet-age source for satisfying humanity’s primal desire for knowledge and information.

Lofty aspirations, certainly, but Burnett approaches the idea with creatives that demonstrate human curiosity — a father-to-be listens to his pregnant wife’s belly in one execution; in another, a child wants to know what’s in a wrapped gift. Voiceover in the spots aim to clench the notion, describing Lycos as the resource for finding answers online.

Television spots will debut in Singapore this week, and will appear in Hong Kong and China during the next several weeks. In each market, TV executions will be sustained with cinema, print, outdoor and online initiatives over a period of three to four months.

“This campaign is aimed at reinforcing the awareness among Internet users of the enormous value Lycos offers them through our sites,” said Bernard Chan, who is vice president of marketing at Lycos Asia, which is a joint venture of Terra Lycos and local telecom player SingTel.

The new ads follow a recent public relations, marketing and ad campaign in May that focused on the site’s search engine capabilities. The campaign borrowed from parent Terra Lycos’ earlier ads, which used a black Labrador as a mascot.

As such, the new effort s part of the portal’s ongoing push to promote itself — especially in markets where it competes with well-known native sites chinadotcom and Sina.com, in addition to the Asian arms of its U.S. rivals.

And as ad dollars continue to dwindle, competition has never been fiercer. Studies from several industry-watchers — VNU and Jupiter Media Metrix, among others — report that while the Asian ad market is expected to grow this year, it’s still paling in comparison to the more mature U.S. market, with its higher-paying advertisers.

But for Lycos Asia, that’s not necessarily a problem. The new ads are meant to evoke a closeness with the public, that Chen says eventually will pay off for the company “as Internet users here get more savvy about surfing.”

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