What is Heavy.com?
It's a men's site with 5.5 million unique visitors a month that we use for marketing promotions. We've got 40 advertisers.
Describe the promotion you created for Sony to promote its PlayStation 2 game God of War?
The game is centered around this character Kratos who has incurred the wrath of the gods. There are a lot of weapons and it's very violent. We created entertainment out of the game. For the promotion, we used machinima [animation devised with the use of a computer] and wrote a series called "Pimp My Weapon" and put it on Heavy.com.
The idea is to capture attention with humor?
Yes, we used the characters and settings from the game but developed it into a completely different scenario. Kratos looks like an ancient Greek warrior, but is a handyman from Minnesota, talks like Bob Villa ... and has his own "How to."
He has a Minnesota accent and everything?
Yeah, but instead of talking about building houses, he talks about weaponry and death.
THE PUBLISHER: Jim Moloshok, senior VP, Yahoo Entertainment
You've helped develop a lot of the deals to integrate Yahoo and Yahoo's advertisers in Mark Burnett Productions, such as "The Apprentice." Can you talk about some of the original Web programming that's coming up?
We're going to start "Apprentice Portfolio" online. We are going to find past apprentices that had special abilities in the financial area, and they are going to compete against each other to see who can build the biggest portfolio. It will be on Yahoo Finance. Consumers can have their own mock portfolios and compete against them. The advertiser will be a financial-services firm.
Do the advertisers come to you through Mark Burnett?
There are certain advertisers that come to Yahoo first. We talk to them before the show is shot and then go to the producer and make sure we use the original content on our site for the ads. Other times, brands come to us with a pitch, but if their product can't be seamlessly integrated into the show, they are turned down. Sometimes I feel like an admissions officer to a good private school in New York.
THE MARKETER: Tom Hassert, 36, Cadillac ad manager
Until recently, your ad for the V Series Cadillac was, at five seconds, the shortest ad online ever. What made you think of that?
The objective was to show that the car can go from zero to 60 in five seconds. You could take the 30-second thing and put it in front of everybody, but that was too long. The five seconds actually gets across our full message. ( Arc Worldwide handled the online creative.)
You launched the campaign at the Super Bowl, with a contest for people to make their own five-second films. When did you get the feeling the campaign was going to work?
When we got 3,000 films that arrived in the 11-day period following the Super Bowl.
Aren't people online a little younger than your target demographic?
We are angling toward aspiration to some extent.
Did the experience create more credibility for interactive at Cadillac in terms of budget?
From an interactive perspective, we are spending 1,000% more.
THE MEDIA BUYER: John Cate, 42, VP, Carat Interactive
You added blogging to Carat Interactive's emerging-media offering this year. Why is blogging so hot?
It's very personal. And it's catching the wave of consumer empowerment. ... We are taking our interactive practice well beyond PCs.
What are you doing for marketers?
We work with companies that aggregate blog monitoring and use software to evaluate positively or negatively what's being said out there and report it back to us. We see it as complementary to market research.
Do you intervene if a product is mentioned in a negative light?
If there's an inaccuracy, we recommend that our clients go in with transparency and speak plainly about the facts and their position.
Aren't bloggers just people looking for their 15 minutes of fame with no real audience?
It's true that the average blog has an average audience of five. But there are celebrity bloggers being created. There are about 100 of those. They are the ones that will show up most predominantly in research.