Bucking the trend at many agencies these days, Seidel O'Neil & Partners is embarking on a brand development strategy for a startup news Web site.
The $1 million assignment, from UpsideToday. com, comes at a time when many shops are lukewarm about taking on Internet-related businesses, particularly startups. But agency managing partner Howard Seidel said the site has a bricks-and-mortar component that will help keep the business solvent.
"They have a magazine that goes along with the Web site, and their editorial perspective is unique," Seidel said. "They are in the process of bringing a brand into the Internet space and [we are] helping them develop it. They have a history. It's not just a 'Me, too' dot.com."
UpsideToday is a daily news site covering the technology industry. It provides updated tech news as well as profiles and in-depth reports.
Seidel said the brand development project could eventually lead to advertising work from the company. But first the shop must help the client stand out in the crowded category.
"There isn't much difference among the sites competing in the space," said D.J. O'Neil, agency co-principal. "We see a great opportunity to build a strong brand for UpsideToday that will allow the site to break through."
Client officials said the agency has done work for them before on a contract basis. "Seidel O'Neil & Partners has handled miscellaneous projects for Upside in the past," said Amy Foley, director of corporate marketing for parent company Upside Media. "We've been impressed by the passion and creativity they offer, and look forward to expanding our relationship with them."
Seidel O'Neil also works with Lombardi Sports and Ross Stores. Also, the shop recently launched a radio campaign for another online startup, ICPlanet.com, a business-to-business Internet exchange that connects businesses with independent consultants.