Teen Web Site Launches First TV Ad Campaign

In an effort to profile the talents of its teen audience and build its brand, Bolt Inc., producer of Bolt.com , a Web site targeting teens, this week launched its first television ad campaign.

Bolt says the “Dont Hold Back” ad campaign, developed by the New York office of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, is unique because it will “turn the camera over to the teen audience.” The campaign, which began airing Wednesday during Foxs premiere of “American High” and will extend through the fall, starts with eight 20 to 30 second spots. One of these spots, titled “Garage Band,” shows a group of Bolt members playing their own music, another, “Broken Heart,” shows an 18-year-old confessing his feelings about a bad break-up.

The Internet marketing part of the campaign allows Bolt members to view all of the spots, including those not yet cleared to air on network, and invites them to submit their own video for consideration by their peers. Members vote on the current spots they like and the ones they dislike. Eventually, Bolt says, all Bolt commercials will be conceived, developed and selected via member interaction.

“Consistent with the Bolt positioning, the ‘Don’t Hold Back’ campaign successfully turns creative development over to our members by providing them with the tools to voice what they most care about, whether it’s submitting their own video or voting on others, said Dan Pelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Bolt, Inc. “In doing so, not only will we create tremendous viral energy and excitement among our over three million members, but we will create a more effective, more cost-efficient brand-building product.”

Besides being aimed at driving traffic to the Bolt.com site, the campaign may be aimed at raising awareness about the company in advance of an initial public offering. Bolt.com filed its intention to offer its stock to the public back in December 1999, but it has not yet done so.

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