In an effort to tie more of its advertisers directly to online commerce, Yahoo last week unveiled "Holiday Extravaganza '97," the first of two Christmas promotions, with a dozen participating sponsors including J. Crew, Clinique and FTD. A second, zanier holiday initiative, "Holiday Psychic Gift Guide" on Netscape Guide by Yahoo kicks off Dec. 2 to promote Prodigy Internet, Beneficial Bank and online retailer Z Auction.
The back-to-back promotions have the biggest advertiser participation of any Yahoo effort to date. Others participating in "Holiday Extravaganza '97" include: De Beers Jewelers, Micron Technology, Shopping.com, Toys.com, CyberShop, Pets.com, Computer Shopper's NetBuyer and CDnow.
In each case, advertisers will be featured on specific holiday-themed pages within Yahoo that enable visitors to order gifts directly from the advertisers' site. In a first for Yahoo, a rotation of products from each of the sponsors will be featured catalog-style in one of three sections of "Holiday Extravaganza '97," which launches Thanksgiving Day and runs through Dec. 18.
Advertisers' product links will be housed in one of three new holiday pages: "Snowflake Falls," "Santa's Big Squeeze," and "Holiday Dreamland." Additional links will be seeded throughout Yahoo. "We've structured it so that it's as easy as possible to send [a visitor] to information on the products or directly to the site," said Bill Miltenberger, sales promotion manager at Yahoo.
The price tag for the three-week promotion is believed to be more than $100,000 per participant.
For J. Crew, New York, the promotion marks the first online marketing splash for the cataloger. The company views it as a means to accumulate prospective customers, boost online sales and promote the brand, said Michael Cohen, president of iballs Internet Media, New York, which handles J. Crew's online media. J. Crew intends to increase its Net presence in 1998 with an online catalog, Cohen added.
"Holiday Psychic Gift Guide" runs Dec. 2 through Dec. 22 on the Netscape Guide by Yahoo. After visitors answer a few humorous riddles, one of three fictitious psychics will offer what appear to be random holiday shopping tips, which are actually linked to one of three Gift Guide sponsors.