IQ News: ECommercial Lands Fantasy Assignment

Web technology firm inked a three-year deal to craft Net campaigns for Stan Lee Media, an Internet-based multimedia production company founded last November by comic book legend Stan Lee. The e-mail effort will drive traffic to the SLM site, a comic book-superhero-fantasy Web site expected to go live in August. A registration site went live in January.
Headquartered in Encino, Calif., SLM was founded by chairman Lee, founder and former creative head of Marvel Comics and creator of characters such as SpiderMan, The Incredible Hulk, and The X-Men.
ECommercials are a series of short-form, trackable, e-mail attachments. The compressed mini-Web pages can feature video, graphics, HTML links, embedded documents, and computer telephony as well as advertisements. They require no special plug-ins to view and can be launched by double-clicking the attachment. Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based expects to earn $2 million over three years in commissions from ad revenue and e-commerce sales in conjunction with the SLM campaign.
Founded as a company in April, counts MCA Records and among its other clients. While president and CEO Tom Blakeley believes in his firm’s technology, he said the real power of the SLM campaign will be in the hands of Lee and his creatives. “The viral effect depends on the content,” said Blakeley. “If the content is compelling, it will be phenomenal.”
The eCommercials are “one component of an arsenal” to promote the new community site, according to Peter Paul, co-founder of SLM. “The real significant interest to us is the trackability,” following the path of one e-mail as it is passed from friend to friend. SLM’s annual marketing budget is in the seven-figure range, said Paul.
Paul says SLM has several partnerships pending, one with a large-scale global community-building firm and another with a telco to distribute content. (The site will also partner with various e-commerce entities.) Other plans include Webcasts originating from Tokyo, Sao Paolo, Berlin, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, and Madras, India and a global TV effort via Blur Studios, Venice, Calif., to build both consumer and business-to-business awareness. All creative will originate in-house. While most ad sales will be handled by the as-yet-unnamed community partner, Andover, Mass.-based AdSmart will also be selling space and sponsorships.