AOL Strives to ‘Make a Difference’

BOSTON Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos has launched ads for AOL, employing a light tone in an effort to position the online service beyond its dial-up access heritage.

One ad starring Married With Children actor Ed O’Neill backs AOL’s online video offering. In the tongue-in-cheek clip, O’Neil warns viewers that many videos “will never reach their full potential” if users don’t discover them on “Make a difference. Just click play,” he says, walking across a giant laptop computer.

Another spot touts AOL’s search capabilities and takes place in an elevator, as a young man who searches for something in his pockets ultimately drops his pants.

AOL uses the positioning line “See what’s here for you” on its home page and in some of its marketing efforts.

Boston-based Hill, Holliday, a unit of Interpublic Group, is a longtime AOL roster shop. Its most recent effort for the company backed the launch of AOL’s In2TV service that streams classic Warner Bros. TV shows such as Growing Pains and Wonder Woman. That work was tagged “Online. Anytime. Always free,” and it literally depicted a “couch potato” in the form of an animated, rerun-addicted spud [Adweek Online, April 17].

AOL in September tapped Hill, Holliday to craft its brand advertising following presentations from the IPG shop and Omnicom’s BBDO, which continues on its roster [Adweek Online, Sept. 20].

AOL spends approximately $300 million annually in domestic measured media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

—Adweek staff report