WHERE TO FIND IT: www.yahoo.com
CRITIQUE: The Chicago Transit Authority is about the last place we'd expect to find an innovative interactive ad. Yet mixed in with the rest of the campaign's pedestrian boards on the El showing twentysomething hipsters was one that caught even our Monday-morning-bleary eyes.
Instead of sending viewers to the Kenneth Cole Productions site, the transit board exhorted commuters to "Search `reaction' on Yahoo.com and win."
So we did. And like all Web searches it yielded just we expected: sites about "Polymerase Chain Reaction -- Xeroxing DNA."
The Kenneth Cole banners are live now, but this brings up another rule of Web marketing: If you're promoting a site or banners offline, you should have the online materials in place first.
Some of the creative is unusually honest. One ad says, "It's not whether you win or lose, but how much information we can get out of you."
But why send them to Yahoo! and not the Kenneth Cole site? Easy. Yahoo! is an established Net brand. Kenneth Cole isn't. By doing a smart cross-promotion, it gains instant credibility and is likely to draw the desired click-throughs.
WHO CREATED IT: in-house