Effort: "U.S. Department of Software."
Agency: E. James White Co., Washington.
Twist: The online software marketer wanted to sell more of its products to the U.S. government, so it created an imaginary "U.S. Department of Software" to target federal purchasing agents and department heads in the final weeks of the federal buying season ended Sept. 30. Beyond.com hired a troop of trumpeters and town criers, dressed in 18th century regalia, who grabbed attention by playing fanfares and shouting the offer at dozens of key federal locations in Washington throughout the promotion period.
Vital statistics: Beyond.com offered special pricing on Microsoft Corp. products and licenses to buyers during September; the offer also was printed on elaborate old-fashioned scrolls and distributed to federal buyers. Local advertising included banners on city buses and radio commercials. Traffic to the Web site tripled during the promotion, Beyond.com reported.