EarthLink Taking Spots National

Internet service provider EarthLink, which is on the verge of completing a merger with MindSpring, launches its first national TV ads today, positioning itself as fast and easy to use.
The three spots are part of an overall $15-20 million push that includes radio and outdoor ads. It takes direct aim at the Pasadena, Calif., company’s much larger rival, America Online. The TV is due to air for two weeks in more than 70 markets, and possibly be extended, EarthLink officials said.
BBDO’s Los Angeles and San Francisco offices created the campaign. BBDO is likely to inherit the consolidated $80-100 million EarthLink/MindSpring account [Adweek, Nov. 8] as executives at Fallon McElligott, which handles MindSpring, said they are not going to pursue it.
The new 30-second ads tested last year. They show a few strange and humorous Web sites, and end with the existing EarthLink tag, “It’s your Internet,” and a new line, “We just connect you to it.”
One spot focuses on www.hampsterdance.com, which shows rows of cartoon hamsters dancing to an annoying song. “The Internet can change the way you live … and the way you annoy the person in the next cubicle,” says a voiceover.
“The advertising recognizes the mind-set of our consumers,” said Ken Mandelbaum, chief creative officer at BBDO. “These are people who turn to the Internet for fun, escape and creativity.”