IBM signs on to Sony's Station

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IBM Corp. bought a six-to-eight-week ad contract on the IBM will be a sponsor of an online version of "Jeopardy," and Sony will create a custom question for the marketer. The sponsorship goes up next quarter. IBM joins Sears, Roebuck & Co., General Motors Corp., American Airlines, Kellogg Co., Microsoft Corp. and Colgate-Palmolive Co. as advertisers on the Station.

"IBM has historically done mostly banner advertising," said Scott Schiller, VP-marketing and advertising sales for Sony Online Ventures. The company "hasn't done much with entertainment sites." Sony's selling point is that it integrates advertisers into the site. Sears, for example, coordinated with Sony on a custom game, "What's the Weather?," promoting children's clothing and shoes.

IBM, meanwhile, is spending aggressively on Internet advertising, with some saying it could become the top Web advertiser this year, toppling last year's No. 1., Microsoft.

Copyright March 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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