In a departure from its usual strategy, LifeSavers Company is pulling some dollars away from enhancements to its Web site in favor of spending money on its first Internet ad campaign, which launches next week. Developed by CKS Media, New York, and Skyworks Technologies, Maywood, N.J., the estimated $250,000 effort packs two sweepstakes, a host of tie-in partners and a summer-long rotation of banners on up to 20 sites, all to promote the brand and Candystand.com to the teen market.
With a core market of 18- to 34-year-olds, LifeSavers has traditionally spent the bulk of its ad budget for the candy brand on network television with little left over for younger-skewing media buys.
On the Internet, the company intends to target those demographics that are otherwise neglected in offline media, said Silvio Bonvini, Internet marketing manager at Parsippany, N.J.-based LifeSavers. “The teen segment is very important to us,” Bonvini said. “We’re going to effectively use [the brand’s online budget] to target them.”
Beginning June 22, Candystand.com will feature two sweepstakes: “LifeSavers Refreshing Flavors of Summer” and “LifeSavers Cool Wheels of Summer,” in which participants could win a car. (For legal reasons, the latter is only open to participants over 18.) In all, LifeSavers will dangle more than $20,000 in giveaways such as a Dodge Neon RT, Motorola pagers, Sony PlayStations, Fox Sports Interactive Soccer ’99 video games and Specialized mountain bikes. Banner ads on sites such as AOL.com, Total Entertainment Network, E!Online, and CBS SportsLine will promote the sweepstakes, leading interested participants to Candystand.com to register for the contests.
The campaigns mark a new direction in the company’s Internet strategy. Launched in April 1997, Candystand.com was designed as an entertainment community. However, beginning this year, the company intends to allocate more dollars to promote the site and build traffic. “In the past we really didn’t have the media dollars to play with,” Bonvini said. “This is the first year we’re really going after sponsorships.”