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IQ News: Ovitz-backed Commerce Site Launches Ad Effort

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Monday marks the first major consumer marketing push for CheckOut.com, the commerce and content site backed by Hollywood mogul Michael Ovitz. CheckOut.com targets the entertainment afficionado with reviews and other content that bolster the site's sales of CDs, DVDs, videos and games.
Ads, which span TV, print, radio and online, run the tagline "Check it out" and feature people smashed up against a glass wall, presumably users desperately trying to "check out" what's on the site.
CheckOut.com went live in the beginning of August; the campaign runs through December to spur sales during the holiday season. The amount of the "double-digit" budget was not disclosed.
CheckOut.com COO Alan Kipust said the site's content helps target people who are passionate about entertainment, setting it apart from pure commerce sites. "If users are at all interested in what they are buying, we offer another experience," he argued. If visitors want to find more downloads or items about a favorite topic, for example, they can use Scour.net to surf the Web. Or if users want to find others with a similar passion, Talk City is the site's community connection. (CheckOut.com is backed by The Yucaipa Companies, which is also an investor in both Scour.Net and Talk City.) Users can also get audio and visual downloads via RealNetworks technology.
The Los Angeles-based firm is also introducing an affiliate program. Promotional efforts are underway in conjunction with West Coast supermarket chain Ralphs, offering users Ralphs gift certificates for shopping at CheckOut.com.
Offline creative is handled by DDB, Los Angeles, with online creative overseen by sister shop DDB Digital, New York. Western Initiative Media Worldwide is handling offline media buying, with DDB Digital as online agency of record. Promotional work is handled by Heil-Brice Retail Advertising in Los Angeles.
Among other recent developments, CheckOut.com was given permanent space on the RealNetworks RealJukebox download, making CheckOut.com its main e-tailer and giving CheckOut.com users access to RealJukebox. CheckOut.com is also the exclusive commerce provider for Entertainment Boulevard's network of sites.