Cybercritique: Clever strategy drives traffic right to the trees

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MARKETER: American Forest/Environmental News Network, sponsored by Eddie Bauer Inc.


CRITIQUE: Media strategies have come and gone on the Internet. Everyone has tried to find a model that works for them. We have recently come across a plan that could bear some fruit: the CPT model, or cost per tree.

On the face of it, this deal sounds like an urban legend. You go to this site set up by American Forest and the Environmental News Network, click on an ad and someone will plant a tree. Really. Well, 10 clicks equals one tree.

It's the exact opposite of print publishing. The more people who visit the site, the more trees that get planted as opposed to the more readers a publication gets, the more trees get killed.

Eddie Bauer Inc. has signed on as a charter sponsor of the program. The ad buy? 25,000 trees. Not impressions, not clicks exactly. Trees.

Visitors to the site can help promote the project by sending e-postcards to their friends to drive traffic.

What's interesting is the model. The site is set up by the two organizations to promote their cause. Sponsors get to ally with a pretty easy, non-confrontational public service strategy.

It's a unique sponsorship, the kind marketers have been craving. As marketers look for more ways to get their name out online other than just in banners, it may become necessary to quit looking so much at the broad, confusing forest of online marketing, and start looking around at the individual trees.

WHO CREATED IT: Environmental News Network, in-house

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