GeoCities touts successful Web ads in new campaign

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Geocities launches a new advertising campaign this week showcasing beyond-the-banner success stories to attract new advertisers.

The campaign, tagged "When your ideas get too big for their banners," was created by Darwin Digital, New York, and includes trade print ads this week followed by online ads next month.

The first ad, both in print and online, tells the story of Visa and its agency BBDO Worldwide, New York, and how they were seeking a way to position Visa on the Web as a lifestyle company.

GOOD BRANDING FOR VISA

GeoCities, which hosts Web communities on its free home pages, recommended the Napa Valley content area on its site. Together BBDO and Visa created Restaurant Row, an area inside the Napa Valley site where visitors can post recipes and restaurant reviews, ask questions of chefs and build home pages.

"We're extremely pleased with the interest on Restaurant Row," said Fran Laufer, BBDO senior VP-associate media director on the Visa account. "We think it gives a lot of good branding and good imagery. And it fits really nicely with the overall Visa strategy."

The second ad will focus on the SkyTel Corp. paging service company and its success with GeoCities in creating a custom-published online magazine called Fore. SkyTel wanted to reach business travelers and GeoCities recognized that the demographics for those travelers matched up with users interested in golf. With Fore, SkyTel also was able to amass an e-mail database of 18,000 users, who have agreed to receive information on the magazine and SkyTel.

NEW ADS IN THE WORKS

The third and fourth ads in the GeoCities' series are still in the works, but will focus on Microsoft Programmer's Pavillion and 1-800-FLOWERS.

Copyright October 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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