In preparation for the registration of its millionth member, Sony Online Ventures and its advertisers are giving away one million frequent flier miles, one million seconds of free long distance service and, from Web newcomer Tic Tac, one million pearly white mints.
With its first Web site under construction, Italian candy confectioner Ferrero is trying its hand at online promotions with its participation in the “Million Member Countdown,” which kicks off later this week. Jennifer Dwork, senior brand manager at Tic Tac Mints, Somerset, N.J said she believes the Internet holds promise as a branding medium, though the company is taking a cautious approach to its 1998 online activities. Tic Tac declined to say when it expects its Web site to launch, though it has retained outside Web consultants. Dwork added that the success of the Sony promotion will determine future online plans for the mint brand, which spent an average of $14 million in television advertising over the past two years, according to CMR, New York. Brad Maslan, director of established brands at Tic Tac, said the company may consider advertising with cyber grocers such as Peapod.
The Station Sony.com launched last March with $1 million in commitments from advertisers such as Kellogg and Sears Roebuck. The game-oriented site has managed to keep traffic and sign-ups brisk with quarterly promotions that have attracted such sponsors as Sprint, Pontiac and Gap, said Steven Yee, vice president of marketing for Sony Online Ventures. For the “Million Member Countdown,” Sprint and American Airlines will dole out free long distance service and American Advantage air miles. The logistics of distributing a million Tic Tac mints hasn’t been determined.
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