Cybermeals goes after colleges, office workers

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Cybermeals slices into the college market this week with its first concerted marketing effort.

The online restaurant-ordering service is rolling out a test on 10 college campuses, which includes Boston College, Boston University, Florida State, University of Minnesota and University of Texas at Austin.

If the test goes well, Cybermeals said it would vastly expand the campaign in the fall.

Spending was undisclosed.

"Moving forward in '99, the college market has become one of our main targets," said a spokesman for Cybermeals.


"Our service is a natural fit for college kids: They do a lot of ordering out and they're also early adopters of technology," the spokesman said.

Future Pages, St. Paul, an ad network of college newspapers and newspaper Web sites, negotiated the deal for Cybermeals and pulled in and College Directory Publishing to add supporting promotional services.

For instance, is handling the on-campus promotional events, including creating fliers, posters and events, such as sponsorships. It's creating radio spots that will air locally. is also sending out promotional e-mails to subscribers of the network.

Cybermeals is creating print ads in-house to run in college newspapers in the Future Pages ad network. Cybermeals is also creating an online co-branded restaurant or dining guide that will appear on college newspaper sites and

Schools "are looking for ways to increase interactivity on their sites," said Lance Stendal, president of Future Pages.

Cybermeals currently has relationships with some 11,000 restaurants nationwide and receives about 1 million page views a month.


To handle expected growth, Cybermeals' sales force will focus more on restaurants in college areas in '99, the spokesman said.

In addition, College Directory Publishing, a company that sells White and Yellow Pages directory services, will supplement Cybermeals' sales efforts in areas it does not cover.

Aside from the college crowd, the spokesman said, Cybermeals is focusing on office meals, marketing to employees who work in corporate parks and metropolitan areas where there's a high concentration of employees and constant Internet connections. Cybermeals decided to go after this market after feedback from its users indicated the potential there.

In late March, Blazing Paradigm, San Francisco, its agency of record, will launch the site's first branding campaign, the spokesman said. Advertising will include print, radio, online and outdoor boards. TV spots are also a possibility.

Until now Cybermeals' only marketing has been through online banner ads and strategic alliances, the biggest of which is a six-year, $20 million deal it signed with America Online last year to be an anchor tenant.

Copyright February 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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