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Old 04-02-2001, 12:34 PM   #1
adland
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 127
Unhappy Armani online says no to the banner

This is from the NYT electronic newsletter distributed every Monday. I don't think they would mind me posting it since they know the viral nature of these things. In fact, if you would like to subscribe, for free, go here:

http://email.nytimes.com/email/email.jsp#advert

About the article, I think you'll see advertisers leveraging their offline media more to drive traffic to their own sites. Incidentally, today's WSJ has an article about several major advertisers pulling their ads from MyPscychoExGirlfriend.com after complaints about is content (despite the site's high traffic).


Campaign Spotlight: From A to X
By Stuart Elliott
==================================

An online and offline campaign for an apparel retailer
covers so much ground, it runs the gamut from A to X.

Why not all the way to Z? Well, the campaign was created for
A/X Armani Exchange, the lower-priced brand of casual and
denim clothing aimed at men and women aged 18 to 34, which
is intended as the "entry level" line into the Italian
fashion house Giorgio Armani S.p.A.

The campaign, by the New York agency Marcis Interactive, is
indicative of efforts by traditional marketers to extend
themselves online, often by combining entertainment with
advertising.

"This is a bridge that enables us to merge our online and
offline businesses," says Lee Byrd, senior vice president
for business operations at A/X Armani Exchange in New York.

"With banner ads, the conversion rates are ineffective and
do not justify the costs," he adds, referring to the number
of Web shoppers who convert from lookers to buyers. "What
we're doing here gives us a much higher conversion rate."


(comment from adland: That should be expected, they're dealing with a pre-selected audience. The higher conversion comes at a higher costs, too. But it's a more in-depth experience.)

The campaign Marcis developed is intended to drive traffic
to the existing A/X Armani Exchange Web site
(www.armaniexchange.com), particularly shoppers who do not
live close to one of the company's 39 stores around the
country. The elements include a CD, e-mail marketing, an
online sweepstakes and a "netmercial."

"We say interactive doesn't necessarily mean the Internet,"
says Jeff Cannon, president at Marcis, which lists among its
clients companies like Cybiko, which sells Palm-like
handheld devices aimed at teenagers; Glamour magazine; and
Plein Sud, which sells clothing like jackets and jeans.

"Web sites aren't necessarily the right medium for
everybody," Mr. Cannon says. "Sometimes, you have to take a
more traditional approach."

Here's how the campaign works. If you make a purchase at 20
of the 39 A/X Armani Exchange stores, in major markets like
Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Washington, you
get a shopping bag with a CD attached, Mr. Byrd says,
"hanging on the handle like a luggage tag."

On each of the 50,000 CD's is a 30-second "netmercial,"
along with a virtual fashion show that enables shoppers to
navigate their way through samples of the apparel sold by
A/X Armani Exchange.

There are images from the brand's spring print campaign,
created by Baron & Baron in New York, which carries the
theme "Being me." The music is by a group called 3 Jane,
which Mr. Byrd describes as "lounge-y."

There's also a link on the CD to the Web site, where
shoppers can enter a sweepstakes to win $500 in merchandise.
Of course, when they're there, they can also do some
cybershopping.

Additionally, a 15-second "netmercial" is being distributed
via an e-mail marketing campaign to about 60,000 consumers.
"From the e-mail and the CD's, about 10 percent have hit our
Web site," Mr. Byrd estimates, "compared with a banner ad,
where we may get less than 1 percent."


"At the end of the day, the ultimate test is the business we
get from it," he adds, "and we've seen quite a few orders
from the Web site" as a result of the promotion. The cost of
the CD to A/X Armani Exchange is estimated at less than a
dollar each.

Next for Marcis, Mr. Cannon says, are cooperative marketing
programs that bring together several advertisers for a
single project. One he is in the process of pitching is
called "Hurricane Joe," planned for the Internet and print
media, about "a dot-commer who gets $5 million to start an
online business but takes the money, buys a yacht and heads
to the Bahamas."
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