Takes Over Yahoo and ESPN.com Ad Space for Prilosec Sweepstakes

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Procter & Gamble Co. is making what may be its biggest one-day interactive media buy ever today behind Prilosec OTC’s “NFL Season of a Lifetime” sweepstakes, including taking over the main advertising space on Yahoo and ESPN.com.
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Purple Internet
In what the company and its agency, imc2, are billing as a blitz to “turn the Internet purple” in honor of Prilosec’s trade dress, the brand will use unspecified extra-large rich-media ad units plus the other key ad space on those portals and others over a 24-hour period.

P&G brands have been experimenting lately with heavy one-day buys on specific sites, such as a test by its Folgers brand in July when it bought the bulk of the inventory on Cincinnati’s Enquirer.com to support a direct-response couponing effort. Bridge Worldwide, Cincinnati, handles that brand.

Full 2007 season
The sweepstakes, which will give away first-class travel accommodations and tickets to the full 2007 season for the winner’s favorite NFL team, plus the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl. It also will be backed by TV, magazine, national and regional radio and in-store marketing.

P&G long has been an interactive marketer, largely through its own sites and e-mail programs, but seldom a heavy interactive media buyer up to now, having spent only about $12.2 million across all its brands on interactive media in 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Like most other package-goods players, P&G brands have been slow to participate in interactive media’s post-bubble boom.

Similar buys
But today’s effort appears to be on par with those of some of the heaviest package-goods players in interactive media, such as Unilever’s Dove and Axe, which last year spent $3 million and $5 million, respectively. Dove made a similar online blitz around Yahoo earlier this year in connection with its brand integration with NBC’s The Apprentice.

“It’s a decent amount [of spending],” said Steve Minichini, imc2’s vice president of media and head of its New York office, adding that the blitz is only one component of the plan. “What we tried to do with this portion of the [interactive media plan] was almost think about it as a prime-time spot, because the way we’ve structured the buy, we have a portal [Yahoo] as an anchor, and we’re using complementary sites like ESPN and similar sites to support that. We’re going to reach our audience quickly, but keep it as targeted as possible.”

NFL lull
Imc2 picked today because it’s a lull in the NFL news cycle between games. “We picked it because it’s a little quiet in terms of NFL chatter and a big opportunity for us to make noise in market,” he said.

Publicis Groupe’s Publicis Worldwide handles advertising creative and sibling Starcom MediaVest handles communications planning and media buying.

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