Starting this past weekend, it launched a marketing campaign, but not as a big umbrella brand for all of Walt Disney's Internet activities. Go.com is now one of five main Disney areas, joining ABC.com, ABCnews.com, ESPN.com and Disney.com.
"We don't have to be all things to all people," said Steve Bornstein, chairman of Walt Disney Internet Group.
ROLLING OUT I FOUR MARKETS
Go.com's marketing efforts have begun to roll out this week in four markets where Internet traffic is the highest -- Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Doug De Vito, VP-marketing for Go.com, said there'll be an initial grassroots marketing approach using online communities, and by the end of the month, the TV, radio and print components will come aboard.
The TV, print and radio campaign is being put together by Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, and is called "Where to Look." The TV work is directed by Tarsem Singh, a veteran commercial and music video director.
Mr. De Vito describes the campaign as "helping consumers surprisingly find great things that sort of put them in a happy moment, which takes them from their mundane lives to this powerful and transformed experience."
Because of its broad adult audience of 18-to-49-year-olds, Mr. De Vito said Go.com's marketing will target general and lifestyle media vehicles, using national TV on ABC (Go.com and ABC are owned by Walt Disney Co.), as well as print vehicles such as Entertainment Weekly, People, Rolling Stone, Time and Vanity Fair.
Lackluster traffic on Go.com and success as an overall brand for all Walt Disney Co.'s Internet activities has forced the entertainment company to streamline its approach, focusing its activities as a search engine -- complete with a new, friendlier Disney-like logo. (Gone is the Go.com traffic light logo that landed it in a lawsuit with GoTo.com.)
As opposed to earlier reports that Go.com would focus just on entertainment, leisure and recreation, Mr. Bornstein said, "All the content that you see on the new Go was available on the old Go. What we tried to come up with was a more intuitive, user-friendly format. It is integrated search and directory and content modules served up in a pretty interesting fashion."
For advertising on its site, it's offering companies new kinds of ad space. One is called "The Big Impression," where a home page ad is 30% larger than most banner ads, and is more "printlike" Mr. Bornstein said. "We think it'll make a bigger brand statement for our customers."
Additionally, Go.com is serving up `The ActiveAd," in which an ad includes drop-down menus. America Honda Motor Co., Procter & Gamble Co., testing company the Princeton Review, Lego Group and Dealtime are some recent sponsors.
One entertainment portal/-search engine, NBCi, recently lost its lessor known Web names such as Snap.com and Xoom.com, to build on its already well known NBC name.
Mr. Bornstein said Go is in a different situation. Disney's yearlong promotional investment on its ABC and ESPN TV networks gives Go.com enough of a launching pad to build into its own identity. "Go takes advantage of a lot of traffic it already has."