AvatarLabs Touts ‘Ratatouille’ on MySpace

LOS ANGELES Independent AvatarLabs created a MySpace portal for Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille, currently the No. 1 movie at the box office, said Rex Cook, ecd and CEO.

The MySpace assignment involved two competitions, said Cook, at AvatarLabs, Tarzana, Calif. One was a comedic contest, judged by the movie’s director, animator Brad Bird (The Incredibles). The winner got a standup gig with one of the film’s voiceover artists, Jeanine Garafolo.

The second was an e-mail raffle for a red-carpet movie premiere.

The site drew 15,000 “friends,” Cook said, making it moderately successful for the Burbank, Calif.-based client, which has used AvatarLabs for seven years for online ad campaigns and Web site development. Cook worked on the Ratatouille site with Brick Rucker (art) and designers Laura Primack, Donna Arrogante and Christian Widodo. Josh Golsen produced.

Cook said that because the agency works for all the movie studios, the typical conflict perceptions are replaced by hyper-competitiveness for the newest innovation. “It is not for the weary or the timid,” he said. “We have to be inspired, re-inspired, take the time for R&D and assemble the team that makes the most sense, often with fresh blood.”

Cook added that while Disney has employed MySpace early and often to promote its releases, the social networking site has not been “completely embraced” by all studios. “Partially, that’s because it is owned by Fox,” he said. “But I don’t think MySpace is invulnerable. A 3-D site, for example, could be competitive.”

Another of AvatarLab’s recent Web projects was for Disney’s Step Up. Cook said it vied successfully for attention with Snakes on a Plane in the Web world.