Oxy Goes Viral

Acne brand entertains with Buzzalong

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%%STORYIMAGE_LEFT%% In an attempt to come up with a fresh approach to speaking to the teen audience, GlaxoSmithKline has combined viral marketing with entertainment for its Oxy acne medicine brand.

The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based pharmaceutical marketer, in concert with its interactive agency Arnold Interactive New York, tasked bicoastal entertainment-marketing shop Buzztone to create a version of its Web-based Buzzalong product. GlaxoSmithKline hopes to generate enthusiasm online for its new promotion while at the same time accruing savings in its online ad budget.

The promotion offers kids the chance to create a new animated character for Oxy's advertising. The Buzzalong promotes the contest, while also offering gaming, AOL Instant Messenger buddy icons, Yahoo! Instant Messaging Skins and a link to Oxy's new TV ads.

"It was like sending a little piece of the Oxy Web site to each of these kids and allowing them to take ownership and forward it to each other and create buzz for us," said Chris Saltmar, Oxy associate brand manager at GlaxoSmithKline. "Certainly there is a branded message, but we've done a nice job in making that secondary and having the focus be on engaging teens with something cool."

%%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%% According to John Fischetti, director of interactive marketing at Arnold Interactive, the advantage of the Buzzalong is that it was pre-selected by "smaller, more granular pop culture sites" on the Internet that have a rabid following, which is an indication the quality of the impressions are high. "These sites take these Buzzalongs and offer them for free so you're not paying for media placement," explained Fischetti. "They have large followings, more so than the bigger sites that we normally buy media on." The sites include TeenHollywood.com and Idol Online.

"Because Buzzalongs contain valued content and promotions that can be infinitely co-branded, we are able to motivate an unlimited number of Web site partners to showcase them with a sense of ownership, thereby delivering higher click-throughs and impressions," said Steve Yanovsky, Buzztone's VP-BuzzBrand Marketing.

The promotion started June 1 and is running through August 31.

Darcy Sefer, Oxy brand manager said, "The early results are encouraging and we think this is an absolutely innovative way to reach teens."

The project is on track to exceed impression goals of 1million and click-through from Buzzalong into the contest is 37%.

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