‘The Guy’ Turns Internet Dial to NetRadio.com

PMH’s Anti-Tech Cartoon Figure Anchors Music Site’s Personality
CHICAGO–Peterson Milla Hooks uses an unnamed character to give a distinct personality to NetRadio.com in its first campaign for the online music service.
The print, outdoor and Internet campaign, which breaks this week, employs boldly colored backgrounds and a crudely drawn black-and-white character–known around the Minneapolis shop as “The Guy.”
“He’s the low-tech antithesis of what’s on the Web and what’s flashy,” said art director Dave Richardson.
In one execution, The Guy is featured with jumper cables attached to his ears, against the headline, “Or, start your day another way.”
“The dot.com category is just jammed,” said Joe Milla, creative director and copywriter at the agency. “Everything kind of looks alike. We wanted to appeal to a bunch of listeners.”
NetRadio.com, a 4-year-old Minneapolis company, produces and delivers 120 streaming channels of music, news and information over the Web. It also powers an online music store known as CDPoint.
The campaign intends to position NetRadio as the source with the widest selection of music and information, said Brian Hooks, PMH’s director of client services.
“NetRadio.com is all about music for my terms, my tastes and my life,” Hooks said. “That’s a proposition that is unique and creates an engaging relationship with the visitor.”
The print ads will run in music and lifestyle magazines throughout the fall; outdoor boards will appear in New York and San Francisco. An animated version of The Guy appears on Web banner ads, and will likely show up in TV spots breaking early next year, Hooks said.
Billings for the campaign were not disclosed. However, NetRadio is expected to raise $35 million in an initial public offering later this month, with as much as one-third possibly earmarked for advertising, sources said [Adweek, July 19].
–Aaron Baarhotline