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Snowball, a young-adult-oriented network of sites that bills itself as “the leading online media company for the Internet generation,” launches the first phase of an integrated ad campaign this week.
A series of spots on national cable TV will feature real-life contributors to sites within the San Francisco-based Internet hub. The spots will air on MTV, Comedy Central, USA Network and E! Entertainment. The multimillion-dollar campaign targeting Snowball’s 13-to-30-year-old, Net-literate audience was created by New York’s Stein Rogan & Partners.
One of the TV ads is based on “Off with His Rocker,” a first-person piece that appeared on of Austin, Texas. This site is part of ChickClick, a group of “girl sites” within the Snowball network.
The ad features the real-life author of the piece, Jen Scoville, and her boyfriend, Joseph Strickland, both of Austin. In the ad, filmed at the couple’s home, Strickland argues with Scoville over whether or not to dump his beloved-but-noisy rocking chair. As part of the campaign, viewers can visit the Snowball Web site, read the story and vote yea or nay on keeping the chair.
New national radio spots for the network also begin airing this week. Like the TV ads, they are based on material that has appeared on network sites. One ad features a contributor talking about his piece “Five Ways to Break Up.” At the end, his real-life girlfriend breaks in and says forebodingly, “We have to talk.”
Online advertising will begin in late March or April. “The online advertising is very specific to each group of sites within Snowball,” said Teresa Crummett, vice president of corporate marketing for Snowball. “IGN, for example, will include an ad featuring two guys who are site editors, in a manner that is adapted to IGN’s particular interest group.”
IGN, a male-oriented entertainment site for teens and young men age 13-30, is part of the Snowball network.
“All the ads were done with the actual authors of the pieces they’re based on,” said Crummett. “We’re appealing to ‘Generation i’–the people who have grown up using the Internet.”
The company also will continue its existing trade print advertising campaign, Crummett said. Ads with the “Contributors” theme will launch in April, running in The New York Times, The Industry Standard, Digitrends, Yahoo! Internet Life, Advertising Age, Adweek and Mediaweek. The entire campaign will run at least through May.