Super Bowl Fantasy: Marveling at Super Bowl commercials has become as much a part of the annual sports event as what transpires on the football field. But are those spots worth all the millions of dollars? PRWeek challenges six agencies to prove that PR c

After last year’s uneventful Super Bowl Sunday, there’s been almost more anticipation on Madison Avenue than on the gridiron for this year’s championship.

After last year’s uneventful Super Bowl Sunday, there’s been almost more anticipation on Madison Avenue than on the gridiron for this year’s championship.

After last year’s uneventful Super Bowl Sunday, there’s been almost

more anticipation on Madison Avenue than on the gridiron for this year’s

championship.



The annual extravaganza that has become a no-holds-barred advertising

showcase is covered by as many media beat reporters as sports

pundits.



The first crop of advertising stories about Super Bowl XXXIV started

appearing as early as October and have been running thick and fast ever

since.



Why is the media so interested this year? Simple. It’s the perfect

’Internet equals silly money’ story. Advertisers for Super Bowl Sunday,

January 30, are ponying up as much as dollars 3 million for a single

30-second spot.



That is almost double last year’s price and a far cry from the dollars

47,000 it cost to advertise back in 1967. The largest advertiser,

Anheuser-Busch, will pay dollars 17 million for ten 30-second spots.



Generating the price hike is a flood of dot-com start-ups, desperate to

gain nationwide brand recognition. They include, among others, Pets.com,

Britannica.com, Oxygen.com, recruitment firm Kforce.com, stationary

e-tailer OurBeginning.com and Computer.com, which launches January

30.



As an industry sector, these Internet companies are estimated to be

spending around dollars 40 million on slots during the pre-game show and

the event.



Internet start-ups have traditionally used public relations to make

their mark, but increasingly, they’re resorting to old-fashioned mass

advertising to drive traffic and appease venture capitalists. Many Web

firms have decided they want that exposure to as many as 127 million

viewers - and not just males in the 18-to-40 demographic. Last year’s

event, on the Fox network, attracted a surprising number of women - 42%

of the viewing audience.



While the publicity value of being a Super Bowl advertiser is

undoubtedly potent - Time magazine named Monster.com’s commercial its

top television ad of 1999 - PR professionals are wondering if everyone’s

gone crazy.



It’s indeed an irony that these dot-com start-ups have gotten ink and

coverage precisely because the business decision seems so rash. For a

fraction of the price, PR can create brand recognition that can last a

good deal longer than a 30-second spot.



For the second year running, PRWeek therefore decided to put this to the

test, asking six PR agencies to devise campaigns using the fantasy

budgets that Super Bowl spots command. The firms, Access Communications

(Pets.com), Brodeur Worldwide (BMW), Edelman (McDonald’s), PNM Sports

(Monster.com), Ruder Finn (MicroStrategy) and Text 100 (netpliance),

stepped up to the feat.



Steve Cody, managing partner at Peppercom, can’t understand why the

start-up companies are taking such desperate measures. ’I think it’s

ridiculous,’ he says. ’There’s so much PR stuff you could do with that

money to differentiate yourself.’



Meredith Halpern, VP of communications at Goalnetwork.com, agrees. The

soccer-oriented web site, which launched in November, is spending its

marketing budget on less conventional methods. ’We are relying on viral

and guerrilla marketing,’ she says.



Cynicism about TV advertising by the young companies is backed up by San

Francisco-based Active Research, which specializes in collecting Web

data. The company published numbers suggesting that consumers take

little notice of dot-com TV advertising. In a report picked up by

Reuters in December, 25% of the 1,700 people surveyed about their online

shopping habits during the festive period couldn’t remember a single

dot-com ad.



’There is a lot of bad advertising,’ says Tom DuBois, chief executive of

Active Research, adding that brand differentiation is becoming

increasingly difficult given the start-up rush. That situation has

forced advertising’s creative community to extreme measures, with

disappointing results. Those few who did remember the ads remembered

’the joke not the company,’ Dubois adds.



Being new to TV has other disadvantages. Super Bowl broadcaster ABC has

insisted that new dot-com firms wire their cash up-front for fear they

may not be around when the bills get sent out.



That has deterred few dot-coms, which make up about one-third of the 30

or so scheduled advertisers.



The popularity of the Super Bowl among Web firms has risen over the past

few years. The first dot-com advertiser was Autobytel in 1997. ’The

Super Bowl was always a PR initiative,’ says director of media Melanie

Webber.



’We did it two years in a row and got tremendous coverage for coming

back.’ But Webber says when she first began shopping the dot-com story

to the media in 1997, it was difficult to get people to write about the

Internet.



’We would hear things like, ’We don’t do Internet stories.’’



After the 1997 ad, the number of purchase requests (when customers fill

out their prospective car interests) rose by 50%; for the Super Bowl in

1998 there was a 93% rise in purchase requests.



The company dropped out last year and Webber claims it benefitted from

stories about why it didn’t come back. Now it’s four Super Bowls since

Autobytel bought the original ad and the company is still making the

news about the ads.



Webber feels the initial investment has been worth its weight in

gold.



’Brand recognition is so crucial, and for Internet companies it is

priceless,’ she says. But even she is skeptical about this year’s glut

of dot-coms.



’We were very distinguishable,’ she says, adding that it’s going to be

difficult for new Web companies to cut through the clutter.



Excite.com, which is not advertising on the Super Bowl, agrees. Fred

Siegel, the company’s SVP of marketing, told USA Today: ’It is a high

stakes gamble. Most will probably feel they should have spent their

money somewhere else.’



Siegel adds,’The Super Bowl is a fantastic platform for advertisers. But

the issue is, can the dot-coms differentiate themselves. Do I want to

spend dollars 3 million if I can’t be differentiated? If I were

Wal-Mart, I wouldn’t be happy being in the same program as Target or

Kmart. Being in the same envelope is very confusing for customers. Last

year it was smart, this year they are in a very cluttered

environment.’



John Hommeyer, Pets.com’s VP of marketing, has no such worries. When

interviewed recently on CNN’s Business Unusual, he said, ’Because of the

real icon value of the sock puppet (the company’s mascot), we think he’s

really going to break through the clutter. We have a tremendous amount

of PR activities and appearances before the Super Bowl so we see this as

a great media investment.’



Autobytel’s place as the advance-guard dot-com advertiser was taken in

1999 by HotJobs.com, Monster.com and Victoria’s Secret, which promoted

its Web fashion show during the Super Bowl.



Richard Johnson, CEO of recruitment site HotJobs.com, says the response

to the two 30-second ads purchased last season for dollars 2 million was

huge.



’People told us we were idiots - the investors, the analysts and the ad

agencies - but look at 1999, it’s been the biggest year for Internet

advertising. We went from traffic of around 800,000 a month to 1.7

million over the January to February period in 1999. I attribute that to

the Super Bowl and the publicity we got. We went from a small

corporation to a brand overnight.’ However, Johnson admits, ’We were

broke afterwards.’



Still, HotJobs is advertising again this year and has taken a more

concerted approach to its public relations by hiring Burson-Marsteller

to coordinate Super Bowl publicity for the recruitment site. Monster.com

had a similar story to that of HotJobs last year. In the 24-hour period

beginning Super Bowl Sunday and ending on Monday, February 1, more than

2.2 million job searches were conducted on its site. That was a 450%

increase over a 24-hour period two weeks before the game.





Victoria’s Secret secret



Of last year’s crop of advertisers, Victoria’s Secret opted not to come

back. The lingerie company organized an unforgettable PR blitz to

coincide with its debut fashion show on the Web, which was advertised

during the event. The site however was not quite prepared to cope with

the overload.



Marni McLoughlin, PR manager at Victoria’s Secret, says that is not the

reason the firm isn’t back to advertise for a second time. ’The Super

Bowl is an incredibly powerful thing. But this year the fashion show is

being held in Cannes’ in May, rather than in the United States in

February, she says.



While it’s easier to see why consumer-oriented products might take their

place in the biggest TV draw of the year, the value for

business-to-business sites such as Angeltips.com is more

questionable.



The firm matches Web entrepreneurs to start-up capital. In late

December, it decided to pull its ad, leading some to suggest that

Angeltips may have been using the huge amount of pre-game press coverage

as a PR exercise.



The company’s advertising firm, Bartle, Bogle, Hegarty denied that

scenario and said it was swapping its client’s dollars 2.5 million Super

Bowl ad for a series of commercials on ABC. Angeltips had allocated a

quarter of its annual marketing budget for that single 30-second

spot.



Larry Novenstern, SVP and director of sports marketing at BBDO, says he

heard there were eight separate sell-off requests from firms who had

changed their minds, though an ABC spokesman refused to confirm that

figure.



’It’ll be interesting to see how many dot-coms will be replaced,’

Novenstern says.



Another business-to-business site, Screaming Media, which is backed by

advertising guru Jay Chiat, also dropped out recently. ’The rationale is

that they felt they could use the marketing resources elsewhere,’ says a

spokesman. ’The opportunity came to take the spot early on and maintain

maximum flexibility’ in terms of whether to use the time or not.



But another new advertiser, MicroStrategy.com, is unrepentently

proceeding, buying a total of five spots, one of which is in the fourth

quarter. Joe Payne, chief marketing officer, explains the reason this

technology software firm opted for advertising rather than relying on

PR: ’Every single key marketing person will be watching.’ He says good

public relations is related to creativity rather than the amount of cash

it costs. ’If I felt like I could throw more money at it and we’d get

better public relations, I would,’ says Payne.





Still a value in buying ads



Others unashamedly cite the PR value of buying an ad as a major

rationale.



Computer.com is using the Super Bowl as the ultimate launch

platform.



The fledgling firm with almost zero revenue regards buying the airtime

primarily as a ’publicity stunt.’ When asked whether he gets better

value for his bucks from PR, Mike Zapolin, CEO of Computer.com, answers:

’At any other event, that would be valid, but when you commit to the

Super Bowl you get built-in public relations. I’m a firm believer in

public relations.’



Zapolin has already been featured in stories by USA Today, The

Associated Press and entertainment show Access Hollywood. He also says

that the two spots he bought, costing dollars 2.7 million, in the late

pre-game show are aimed not only at potential computer buyers, but Wall

Street investors, which, these days, could mean anyone. He also adds

that the Super Bowl is one of the few events when viewers pay attention

to the advertising.



A popular PR component of campaigns this year has been involving viewers

in the creation of firms’ Super Bowl advertising with the aim of

connecting new and old media. For its witty campaign from Mullen

Advertising, Oxygen.com asked visitors to its site to suggest reasons

why it’s good to be a woman.



The ideas are being incorporated into the ad.



OurBeginning.com’s web site has an area where visitors can pick what

type of commercial they’d like to see, choosing among ’hysterically

funny,’ ’warm and fuzzy’ and ’over the edge.’



OurBeginning.com has also provided the ultimate nod to public relations

by hiring Bennett & Company, a PR firm, to coordinate all its marketing

activity, from selecting the creative advertising agency, Disney Ideas,

to negotiating the media buy with Disney-owned network ABC. President

Laura Bennett explains that advertising sits at the center of this

project with public relations forming the arms and legs.



The Super Bowl has given this non-traditional PR agency a boost by

getting it involved in a media buy. The agency also agreed not to take

the commission on the media buy and is being paid based on results. The

site, launched in spring 1999, has spent in excess of dollars 3 million

on a package that includes a 30-second commercial airing in the third

quarter and exclusive sponsorship of a 30-minute pre-game segment.

Bennett says: ’The Super Bowl is all about awareness and getting on the

radar screen. PR and marketing gets that.’



It’s clear that PR is now a central element of all Super Bowl

advertising.



But when Monday’s post-game advertising analysis gets into full swing,

will companies be wondering if they’ve been ripped off? Is this the most

expensive PR stunt in the business? Read the six fantasies above and you

decide.





BMW



Brodeur Worldwide



IDEA no. 1: A dollars 3-million, 30-second Super Bowl commercial for BMW

might pique some interest in the luxury automaker, but it won’t bring

BMW-ownership much closer to the masses. That’s why given dollars 3

million for a campaign, Brodeur Worldwide would recommend that BMW

instead give away one BMW to a lucky winner in each of the 50 United

States.



Brodeur usually works with technology companies, not carmakers. But for

BMW, we’d apply our expertise in consumer technology to help shine a

spotlight on the company. We’d create and execute an aggressive media

outreach program to promote both the state-by-state car giveaway, as

well as the news that BMW has opted against advertising during the Super

Bowl and is instead spending its money on the people.



A sizeable chunk of the budget, obviously, would go toward the cost of

the cars. We’re thinking of giving away 50 323i Sedans, retailing at

dollars 27,560, but cheaper, obviously, when supplied directly from BMW.

That cost is about dollars 1 million.



With another dollars 1 million, we’d leverage the fact that BMW is

bucking the trend and passing on a Super Bowl ad slot. There are no

shortages of stories about Super Bowl advertising costs, and the news

that BMW is instead spending its money on ’free cars’ would naturally be

part of those stories. We’d also target consumer reporters and auto

industry reporters and publications, of course.



Because BMW’s relationship with its dealers is so important, the

giveaway would include them at every level. Those entering the giveaway

would have to register to win at a BMW dealer near them or through the

bmwusa.com web site. BMW already has a terrific web site, but Brodeur

Interactive would work closely with BMW’s Web staff to ensure the online

registration component exposes Web surfers to information about their

local BMW dealer.



Leads generated from Web-based entries would be passed directly to the

local dealer.



The campaign would roll out in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl,

with the winners in each state drawn at half-time and announced

exclusively on bmwusa.com via text and a webcast (approx. dollars

250,000). Outreach to the general major media in each of the 50 states

would commence immediately, with the goal of the local contest winners

being announced in sidebars to Super Bowl coverage. The trickle-down

coverage in each winner’s local publications and the word-of-mouth news

about BMW in the winner’s community and workplace would emerge

naturally.



(About dollars 200,000 would be earmarked for legally administering the

giveaway and transporting the cars to the winners by a BMW rep and

photographer.



We’d also explore using the budget’s balance to advertise the winners on

programs airing opposite the Super Bowl. For example, a 30-second spot

to announce the winners during Fox’s The X-Files would only cost dollars

372,300.



That even leaves some of the budget to purchase additional air time to

maximize entries and promotional opportunities in the days and hours

leading up to BMW’s halftime bonanza on Fox.)



A Super Bowl ad may make a CEO feel like a million bucks, but it really

only makes him millions poorer. Give us PR any day.



THE PR AGENCY:



Brodeur Worldwide is a communications consultancy specializing in

technology.



Fidelity Investments turned to Brodeur to help announce Powerstreet, its

new online brokerage service, weeks before the launch of the advertising

campaign. Brodeur’s integrated campaign combined public relations and

promotions with breakthrough interactive tools to reach out to key

influencers.



THE CREATIVE TEAM:



Jennifer McNally, senior account executive and creative culturalist;

Michael Sockol, executive director, Brodeur Interactive; Norman

Birnback, VP national media relations; John Brodeur, CEO and chairman;

Andrea Carney, president



COST OF PR CAMPAIGN:



dollars 3 million





PETS.COM



Access Communications



IDEA no. 1: The Pets.com Super Pet Bowl: ’Pets can’t drive, but they

(and their human companions) can score at this year’s Pets.com Super Pet

Bowl.’ Erected in the parking lot of the Super Bowl stadium, the

Pets.com Super Pet Bowl is a massive tent in the shape of, you guessed

it, a pet bowl. Emblazoned on top (great for those blimp cameras) and on

all sides with the Pets.com logo, the Super Pet Bowl serves as the venue

for the first annual Pets.com Super Pet Bowl, a mock sports spectacle

that will act as a vehicle for pre- and post-game publicity.



Activities will include:



- An exhibition football match staged between squads of professionally

trained pug dogs wearing official colors of the teams with bleachers

filled with ’pet’-taters ’roof’-ing their teams on to victory.



- On-air commentary by the Pets.com spokes-dog sock puppet and celebrity

co-host Bob ’Bark’-er, who will appear on behalf of his pet cause, the

SPCA, and sports figures ’Howl’ (Al) Michaels and Boomer ’Meow-a-son’

(Esiason).



- Halftime entertainment will include reunion appearances by the Stray

Cats and the Byrds as well as a special appearance by Donny Osmond

singing ’Puppy Love.’



- Coupons/sampling: The first 25,000 Super Bowl patrons will receive a

commemorative Pets.com oversized Super Pet Bowl filled with pet food

samples and coupons.



The entire event will be tied-in with the SPCA, with Pets.com pledging

to donate pet food and supplies to the charity based on the number of

unique visitors to the site during the promotion period. SPCA will also

be on hand with its mobile adoption vehicle for Super Bowl attendees to

adopt pets. A focused media relations campaign will create awareness

before and after the event.



IDEA no. 2



The Pets.com Super Bowl ’Tail’ Gate Party: to leverage the proven

camera-fetching power of man’s best friend, Pets.com will put on the dog

by hosting a giant ’tail’ gate party for dogs and their human companions

in the parking lot of the Super Bowl stadium. Super Bowl patrons who

register in advance at the site will be invited to bring their dogs to a

lavish pre-game party benefiting the United Way, a favorite charity of

the National Football League. The centerpiece of the ’tail’ gate party

will be a fashion show with celebrity judges picking their favorites.

Photos of the 20 top contestants (10 for each team) will be posted to

the Pets.com site for visitors to vote on. Top dogs and their humans

will receive lavish prize packages.



The entire event will be supported by a focused media relations

campaign.



IDEA no. 3



The Pets.com Super Pet Bowl Sweepstakes: to drive traffic to the site,

Access will stage a sweepstakes program that will award lucky pets (and

their human companions) first-class travel packages to the Pets.com

Super Pet Bowl and the human Super Bowl. A focused media relations

campaign will raise awareness of the sweepstakes and Super Bowl

events.



THE PR AGENCY:



Access Communications was instrumental in several of 1999’s successful

PR campaigns, most notably the launch of the Sega Dreamcast video game

console. Overcoming the perception of Sega’s three failed video game

systems, the Sega Dreamcast launch is documented as the largest

money-maker in entertainment history with over dollars 97 million in

sales in a 24-hour period.



Access has offices in San Francisco and New York City.



THE CREATIVE TEAM: Matthew Afflixio, SVP; Tuesday Uhland, VP; Cate

Stewart, project manager; David Cumpston, project lead; Brendan McMahon,

account executive; Jenny Rees, project coordinator



COST OF PR CAMPAIGN: IDEA no. 1: dollars 1.2 million



IDEA no. 2: dollars 650,000



IDEA no. 3: dollars 425,000





MONSTER.COM



PNM Sports



IDEA no. 1: ’The Dream Job’ Monster.com’s current advertising campaign

speaks volumes about its brand personality. Monster.com uses humor and

irreverence to differentiate itself while conveying the seriousness of

taking stock in one’s career. Our recommendations mirror this. We

believe humor - used in a strategic, focused manner - will enable

Monster.com to further build its brand personality. Additionally, humor

can help set job seekers at ease, resulting in both practical and

emotional ties to Monster.com.



We support an integrated campaign that blends advertising with PR,

sports and interactive marketing. Our proposed programs are designed to

extend brand communications around the Super Bowl and throughout the

year to reach target audiences more directly and, ultimately, to forge

an intimate relationship between the Monster.com brand and job

seekers.



Everyone has a ’dream’ job. For many, especially for Super Bowl

enthusiasts, the dream job relates to sports. It might include anchoring

the 11 pm SportsCenter on ESPN or working as a member of the ’Rainbow

Warriors’ pit crew during the Daytona 500. To reward the ’dreamer’ in

all of us, Monster.com creates a ’dream Job’ contest where consumers

visit the site and complete a brief survey on their ’dream job in

sports.’ A panel of former athletes select eight winners, representing

each of the eight major pro sports championships. Monster.com awards

each winner the opportunity to perform his or her dream job in

conjunction with the corresponding championship, with each winner

earning the one-game salary of the dream position. To create maximum

visibility, Monster.com launches the program in conjunction with Super

Bowl XXXIV.



IDEA no. 2: ’Behind the Resumes’



How well do you know celebrities? Monster.com conducts an online contest

where consumers test their knowledge by matching resumes with the

celebrities, athletes, coaches, political figures and business leaders

to whom they belong. For two weeks leading up to major national events

such as the Super Bowl, Academy Awards and Grammys, Monster.com will

post portions of the resumes. Respondents will receive points for each

correct match, and the top scorer will receive an all-expenses paid trip

to the event.



To generate additional news and site traffic, Monster.com would also

release little-known facts and information about the celebrities and

past jobs.



IDEA no. 3: ’Post-Election and Opportunistic Job Placements’



On an opportunistic basis, Monster.com will recommend jobs for

high-profile figures who are out of work. For example, Monster.com

issues a release suggesting great job openings for Hillary Clinton

should she fail in her election bid for the New York Senate seat. This

could be extended to the Monster.com site by conducting an online poll

asking visitors to select the best jobs for these ’outta work’

celebs.



IDEA no. 4



Monster.com sponsors a traveling national job fair where branded,

specially designed ’monster trucks’ visit college campuses, concerts and

special events targeting GenXers.



THE PR AGENCY:



Porter Novelli-Millsport Sports is a joint venture of Porter Novelli and

Millsport, two of the world’s leading public relations and sports

marketing agencies, respectively. PN recently helped launch Planet

Outdoors.com, an online outdoor sports and recreation gear e-commerce

site, with a campaign centered around a documentary-style commercial

filmed by the makers of the Blair Witch Project.



THE CREATIVE TEAM: Audrey Adlam, VP; Larry Baumann, account supervisor;

Christine Cea, SVP; Edward Dixon, VP; Jonathan Dubow, VP; Ed Gargiulo,

account supervisor; Karen Granados, manager; Beth Kaufman, SVP; Danielle

Tracy, senior account executive; John von Stade, VP



COST OF PR CAMPAIGN: dollars 2.4 million





MICROSTRATEGY



Ruder Finn



IDEA no. 1



Our proposal is to launch a campaign for World Internet Literacy and

Learning (or ’WILL’ for short). The aim is to bring real-world Internet

technology skills to adults in markets currently trailing in the

information revolution with the slogan, ’Where there’s ’the WILL’

there’s a Way.’



One of the most compelling aspects of public relations outreach is its

ability to meet multiple objectives within a single campaign. For

example, this program for MicroStrategy - a company expert at mining

information and delivering to customers when and where they need it most

- is designed to impact company positioning, generate awareness among

targeted audiences, develop strategic partnerships, attract direct sales

leads and drive shareholder value.



MicroStrategy’s WILL project uses Strategy.com’s information delivery

technology and a network of public and private organizations to educate

and enable a next generation workforce.



Corporate and civil organizations will provide small, volunteer WILL

teams to spend a few days per year at regional educational or employment

centers working with educators and job counselors who support young

adults and low-skilled workers. The WILL teams will be provided with

information aids, technology tools such as mobile phones and PDAs, and

Strategy.com curriculum guides that will help them teach teachers about

how to use the Internet as a business tool. Teaching aids, technology

tools and materials will be left at regional centers with the newly

trained teachers.



Partnerships: central to the WILL campaign is MicroStrategy’s

Strategy.com information delivery system. Additionally, we will look to

create a network of partnerships to make WILL a reality and to put

MicroStrategy in the company of organizations it would like to do

business with. These partnerships will include information providers

(such as Dow Jones, Disney, Reed Elsevier, etc.) to offer customized

content to help WILL teams more effectively teach; hardware and service

delivery systems (such as 3Com Palm Computing, Sprint mobile phones,

Motorola wireless networks, etc.) to provide a mobile network that will

bring information right into the hands of teams; corporate and

organizational sponsors (such as Citibank, Novartis, KPMG, etc.) from

which WILL teams will be created; and regional education, government and

employment training centers around the globe.



The WILL campaign will position MicroStrategy as a company dedicated to

delivering information when and where it is needed most. The WILL

program will help create markets (partners, customers and employees)

that Strategy.com will later engage. Partnerships with information and

technology providers (Dow Jones, Sprint, etc.) and target customers

(Citibank, KPMG, etc.) will illustrate usage of a worldwide information

delivery network and foster direct business development and sales leads.

Additionally, media coverage for the WILL project will extend from

regional to international publications, with story angles ranging from

company and partnership profiles to individual human interest

stories.



The WILL campaign has long-term and scaleable program possibilities that

will extend over time to new regions and markets, involve new

partnerships and include additional activities such as surveys, the WILL

Internet Literacy Meter, regional Internet literacy seminars and a

technical school ’white paper’ series.



THE PR AGENCY:



Ruder Finn’s launch campaign ’Special Sauce’ for CBS-backed portal

iWon.com garnered a 30-minute Nightline feature and publicity that

helped drive a million new members to the site in the first month of

operation. Other Internet clients include BargainBid.com and

Women.com.



THE CREATIVE TEAM: Robert Dowling, SVP; Hillary Deutschman, VP; Alicia

Dollard, VP; Teresa Fereday, VP



COST OF PR CAMPAIGN: Up to dollars 2 million





NETPLIANCE



Text 100



IDEA no. 1



Contrary to common belief in the ’oh so savvy’ tech world, about 60% of

the US population does not access the Internet. Netpliance is the

manufacturer of an Internet browsing appliance called the i-opener, an

affordable, easy-to-use consumer-oriented Internet browsing device.



Our idea is twofold: first, to commission research on use of the

Internet, with questions expressed in a human way. Second, to identify

20 ordinary people who appropriately represent the demographic audience

that our client Netpliance is trying to reach (the butcher, baker,

candlestick maker, surgeon, tarot card reader and priest). By

chronicling a ’week in the life of’ these people we will publicize how

access to the Internet changes their lives.



Candidates will be chosen by local broadcast show producers for NBC

affiliates in 20 markets. The pitch for these producers will be the

opportunity to spotlight a representative from their community for an

ongoing segment that is fun, educational and positive. The markets

chosen will represent a diverse geographic audience base.



We will also provide producers with a questionnaire to distribute to

audiences, announcing on-air and to the audiences that one chosen winner

will ’have their eyes opened to the Internet.’ Each show’s producers

will select one winner who will participate in the i-Opener 24/7

Internet Access campaign. The producers will be motivated to find

engaging, open and entertaining people who will be profiled on the local

shows along with a network tie-in to NBC’s Today.



Sample questions would include: does the World Wide Web scare you? Are

you asking yourself, ’what in the world is a Wide Web?’ When people ask

you what your e-mail address is, do you pretend not to hear them? Is

this the first time you realized e-mail wasn’t spelled e-male? Do you

dot-com?



To illustrate the participants’ impressions of the Internet, we will

film a video news release (VNR). Participants will be outfitted with an

i-Opener. Each participant will have 24-hour access to a ’spiritual

Netpliance guru’ for technical support and an online chat room.



Participants will be expected to use the device for one week and

encouraged to explore as many opportunities as possible, such as

shopping, making reservations, conducting research, etc.



For the finale, we will select the four most intriguing, exciting,

amazing metamorphosis experiences to be used in a huge PR/advertising

campaign including:



- Commercials that will feature users in creative day-to-day

circumstances - emphasizing the universality of the i-opener.



- The local radio, TV and newspaper organizations that played a critical

role in helping select these participants will undertake post-event

reporting, using the VNRs as well as access to the live participants in

a celebrity road show.



- National news and variety mediums will be targeted for the research,

and the ’four characters’ will be available for interviews and

appearances on venues such as Today and Jay Leno.



- The vertical media of interest to all of our participants will also be

targeted in a longer-term media program - namely case study and feature

pieces for Today’s Butcher, Baking Week and The Candlestick Times.



THE PR AGENCY:



Text 100 Public Relations is an international PR technology firm with

more than 22 organically grown offices worldwide, located throughout

Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Text 100 has

four offices in North America, including Boston, Rochester, New York,

San Francisco and Seattle. Clients include the Xerox Corp., Chrome Data,

eCharge, InfoSpace.com and Madge Networks.



THE CREATIVE TEAM: Andrew Fox, Carolina Noquera, Rita Manachi, Trish

Ristagno and Aedhmar Hynes



COST OF PR CAMPAIGN: dollars 3 million





MCDONALD’S



Edelman Worldwide



IDEA no. 1



Capitalize on the American game show frenzy by creating a spoof, ’Who

Wants to Be a McMillionaire’ - a national search for the American family

that knows the most about Super Bowl trivia, with a dollars 1,000,000

prize for the winner. This would involve two key target audiences of

McDonald’s: families and the company’s franchisees.



Families will enter by going to their local McDonald’s and filling in an

entry form with one trivia question. Names drawn with correct answers

will be invited to participate in local Super Bowl trivia contests.



The national search will be launched on Regis and Kathie Lee to ’rib’

Regis about his game show host duties, and to give Kathie Lee her turn

in the game show spotlight. A series of Super Bowl trivia question press

releases, contest announcements, etc. will help drive people to

McDonald’s to enter.



Winning families from these local McMillionaire ’quiz shows’ will

compete against each other in one of five regions in the US. Each local

and regional quiz show will be a media event, with regional heats hosted

by a leading NFL player. Eventually five families will travel to the

Super Bowl in Atlanta for the final ’quiz.’



This quiz show, with Boomer Esiason hosting, could be fed ’live’ via

satellite in conjunction with the Super Bowl game, pre-show or

halftime.



McDonald’s will ’simulcast’ the final event on its web site to enable

families, who have preregistered at McDonald’s franchises, to

participate in their homes.



IDEA no. 2



Create the ’Super Bowl McAuction’ - a global auction of Super Bowl

experiences and treasures. Items range from a visit to the victorious

team’s locker room, to an official Super Bowl party invitation, to the

coin used in the Super Bowl XXXIV coin toss. Proceeds will benefit

Ronald McDonald House and the NFL Charities. The program reaches

McDonald’s two target audiences: families and the company’s

franchisees.



More than 500 auction items will be collected and placed on McDonald’s

web site. People can enter and bid with real money or with ’play money’

on a ’scratch off’ Super Bowl McAuction voucher. People can go online

during Super Bowl Week and up until the end of the game to leave

bids.



In addition, each day, during Super Bowl week, an item will be given

away, free, to a person whose name has been pulled out of a McAuction

Super Bowl Drum based on those who entered at local McDonald’s.



The Super Bowl McAuction will be launched on the Rosie O’Donnell Show

with a mock auction to show people how to bid. Moreover, 100 items will

tour key US cities for people to see what is being auctioned. Special

stories on the items and their value will be released to the media.



The event will culminate with the winning bid for each item being

announced at the end of the Super Bowl game by spokesperson and

auctioneer Joe Montana, either on the McDonald’s web site or through a

WebTV event.



THE PR AGENCY:



Edelman Public Relations Worldwide is the world’s largest independent

public relations firm and the sixth largest overall. In l999, Barnes &

Noble, Sears and Starmedia chose the firm to position their e-commerce

businesses and Deutsche Bank selected Edelman for its dollars 9 billion

acquisition of Bankers Trust. Other wins include P&G, Ericsson and

UPS.



THE CREATIVE TEAM: Mitch Markson, Janice Rotchstein, Cliff Berman, Dan

Pooley, Andrew Silver, Ann Wool, Larry Koffler and Cara Leggett



COST OF PR CAMPAIGN:



IDEA no. 1 dollars 3 million



IDEA no. 2 dollars 2 million to dollars 2.5 million.



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