Mercury Center Launches New Ad Campaign

Mercury Center, an online tech news source, launched a rich media online advertising campaign through Saatchi & Saatchi’s stand alone digital marketing company, Darwin Digital.

Billings were not disclosed.

The campaign, which runs through the middle of December, features two separate executions.

The first, “Get Today’s Story Now,” presents the latest Silicon Valley news headlines scrolling through a banner ad that allows the reader to link directly to the corresponding story on Mercury Center, a product of the San Jose Mercury News. These banners use iFly technology developed by Darwin Digital.

The second series of ads gives the tech-savvy reader a puzzle to complete by matching a technology quote to the scrambled face of the person who said it. The first quote in the series is, “Who said, ‘We could double in size but that’s it’?” Among the scrambled faces in the ad are Jerry Yang of Yahoo, Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco and Bill Gates.

The campaign will run for three months on sites such as the DoubleClick network, ZDNet, Starwave (ESPN and ABC), Yahoo, Upside, Red Herring and the Wall Street Journal Interactive edition.

“Since we went free earlier this year our readership has been growing steadily and we are using this campaign to consolidate those gains among our target, tech-literate audience,” said Doug Edwards, brand group manager, online products at the San Jose Mercury News. “We have designed the ads to be compelling, direct and informative–just like Mercury Center itself.”

Darwin Digital’s iFly, or information on the fly, is based on JavaScript and CGI scripting. This allows real time changes to be made to the banner headlines. The interactive puzzle campaign uses Narrative Communications’ Enliven, a Java- based technology that delivers ‘no-wait’, interactive content.

“We are using the technology strategically, to reinforce Mercury Center’s positioning and appeal to its target audience,” said Teresa Julian, general manager of Darwin Digital San Francisco. “Mercury Center’s typical reader is surrounded by, and very familiar with, technology. These two campaigns not only serve to direct the reader to Mercury Center but also play to that sophistication by saying, ‘we know you’re an insider so here’s some news you’ll appreciate delivered in a way you’ll enjoy’.”

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