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APL Digital Scores a Direct Hit

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Seeking to build brand equity in the increasingly competitive online marketplace, Direct Hit Technologies has tapped APL Digital to handle its interactive account.
The unit of Ammirati Puris Lintas in New York picked up the assignment, estimated to be worth $12-15 million, following a review. Contenders included Agency.com, IllusionFusion! and AppNet's I33 communications, all New York, according to client representative Martha Collins.
APL Digital is charged with creating and placing banner advertising and marketing for the Wellesley, Mass.-based Direct Hit through targeted email messages, Collins said.
The online buy, which will begin immediately, includes Internet service provider Netscape, Collins said.
APL will use the positioning line "One search engine. Millions of minds," which was introduced recently in offline ads crafted by Gearon Hoffman in Boston. That effort--radio-based at present with TV set to break in the next few weeks--is being placed by Carat Freeman, Newton, Mass. Spending offline is estimated in the $15 million range.
The goal for both online and offline ads is to create a brand positioning that emphasizes the search engine's ability to provide users with highly focused searches, Collins said.
APL Digital is currently in the throes of being combined with Lowe Lintas Digital following the takeover of Ammirati Puris Lintas by Lowe
& Partners.
Last year, APL Digital claimed $16 million in revenue and employed 160 staffers, who worked for clients such as Ameritech, United Parcel Service and Nestlƒ. K