AOL Makes Commitments to Members


NEW YORK America Online tomorrow breaks a campaign that asks, "Want a better Internet?" in an effort to position the Time Warner online service as being on the consumer's side.

Spending on the push is estimated at $30 million in the fourth quarter, sources said.

The print portion, which starts as double-page spreads in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, emphasizes eight commitments AOL is making to its members. Among the promises: protect members from online threats, safeguard children and innovate.

"Today, we're announcing a series of commitments that will drive our employees to one common goal: to make life online better for our members, and in so doing, to improve their lives," copy reads. The print ads were created by Interpublic Group's The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., which was handed the assignment in August.

A series of TV ads from Omnicom Group's BBDO in New York brings the pledges to life by highlighting the company's relationship to its subscribers. In one spot, an office receptionist looks up to see AOL members who have turned up at the company's Dulles, Va., headquarters to offer ideas on how to make the Web better. Another shows an AOL subscriber visiting executives to talk about how to improve the Net.

The ads conclude with "Want a better Internet? America Online. Broadband. Wireless. Dial-up," a tagline meant to remind consumers that AOL serves members however they connect to the Web.

In conjunction with the branding effort, Desgrippes Gobe in New York has updated the 13-year-old logo. The AOL triangle has been turned on its side to resemble a forward arrow with a more contemporary typeface.

AOL spent nearly $290 million on measured media last year and about $100 million for the first six months of this year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.