Onvia.com Begins TV Campaign

Onvia.com, an online operations center for entrepreneurs, began airing its first television advertisement, a 30-second spot directed by Michael Radford of four-time Academy Award-nominated film ‘Il Postino’ fame.

The company said the ad brings an elegant and cinematic approach to the medium. Done in an art-house film style, the ad humorously depicts the mind-bleary mix-up of an exhausted entrepreneur at the end of a work day.

Spending was not disclosed.

TBWA/Chiat/Day developed the ad. Maintaining a strong connection to Onvia.com’s brand was a key component in designing the ad, as opposed to generating memorable antics simply for the sake of attention.

“Anyone can drop their pants to get attention,” said John McGonigle, group account director at Chiat/Day. “We wanted to reinvent the wheel for Internet company commercials, and employ a brand-building approach rather than simply using shock to reach our audience.”

The Onvia.com spot is Radford’s first dot com commercial, as well as his first television commercial for a U.S. audience.

“I chose to work on this project because I liked the both the company and the ad concept, and was excited to have the opportunity to infuse a cinematic feel into a category cluttered with gimmicky commercials,” he said.

The ad will begin airing in selected cities chosen based on their number of start-ups per capita. The ads will be shown on Dateline NBC, Law & Order, 60 Minutes, David Letterman and The X-Files.

Onvia.com said it plans to spend between $7 million and $10 million on advertising during the remainder of 1999, split between print, television, outdoor and radio.

Onvia.com is a business-to-business online center devoted to meeting the needs of entrepreneurs through targeted business products, services, tools and expert advice.

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