Homestead Taps Swirl Online Community Has $10 Mil. to Spend

Online community Homestead.com has selected Swirl as its agency after a review.
The San Francisco shop prevailed over three undisclosed agencies. Billings are estimated at around $10 million, although the client and agency declined to divulge projected spending.
“We were impressed with their past experience in the category, and they are a great cultural fit,” said Rich Pearson, director of brand marketing at Homestead.com, Menlo Park, Calif.
In the review, Swirl provided speculative creative and ideas for the direction of the 2-year-old company’s brand. The agency will develop an ad campaign to debut in the first quarter, said client executives.
Homestead.com provides tools for members to build their own Web sites. It competes with rivals such as GeoCities, Tripod, FortuneCity and Angelfire.
“We are really [Web] builder-centric,” Pearson said. “The tools we make available make it easier to build Web sites.”
Homestead is one of a growing number of Internet clients at Swirl. Earlier this year, the shop picked up netLibrary and Petopia.com.
“We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of interest of late from dot.com companies,” said principal and director of account planning Eric Roos. “The challenge for us is to find the ones that match our culture.”
Homestead Technologies is a leader in self-service Web publishing via consumer webware–software that is found on the Web. As a Web-based publishing platform, it enables individuals and groups to create feature-rich sites without buying expensive desktop software. The company is privately held and has received investments from IVP, Global Retail Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Intel Corp.