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Databank Demographics: Amazon king of dot-com ad jungle

By Published on .

Dot-coms are foundering on the Nasdaq, but that's not stopping some of the largest online players from making major Internet ad buys. Amazon.com, the money-losing giant, topped the list of dot-com advertisers with an online presence during the month of July, according to data from research firm Jupiter Media Metrix.

The site bought a whopping 4.6 billion impressions, more than double that of the second-ranked dot-com advertiser, auction site eBay, which had 2.2 billion impressions. The units include smaller ads that simply say the company's name, while others allow for shopping within the banners for such items as books, CDs, videos and wireless phones.

While a company spokesman wouldn't talk about ad strategy, Jupiter analysis shows that most of the July impressions were aimed at increasing awareness, followed by driving sales and driving traffic. No strategy was discerned for 115.2 million impressions, while 4.1 million were used for positioning.

None of the impressions ran on properties in which Amazon owns a stake, including Drugstore.com; retail partner ToysRUs.com also had no Amazon ads. The largest concentration was on major portals and Internet service providers such as Microsoft Corp.'s MSN, Excite, AOL Time Warner's Netscape and America Online, and Juno and Prodigy. Movie information site IMDb was among the top 10 sites in the buy, and Amazon also went after job seekers on career site Monster.com and stock traders on E-Trade. The nearly 200 sites on which Amazon advertised comprise an eclectic mix, with everything from AllaKhazam's Magical Realm to the World Wrestling Federation and Better Homes & Gardens Online. The book seller knows how to book ads.

There are some groups of sites that indicate other demographic targets, such as news junkies with ABC News, Salon.com, Newsmax and MSNBC, and travelers with Cheap Tickets, Travelocity and Lowest Fare. Young people also appear to be a key group, with music sites such as NetRadio.com and Yahoo!'s Launch.com and other content sites like Teen.com, gURL and Bolt in Amazon's marketing mix. Gender also played a role: Women-focused sites, including iVillage and Women.com, are balanced by male-centered counterparts, like AskMen.com.

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