Infoseek Breaks New Branding Work

Internet search engine Infoseek launched its new $3 million branding campaign this week during Sunday night’s season premiere of The X-Files. Ingalls Moranville here has created six 30-second spots, which are running on cable and network stations in New York and San Francisco.
The campaign’s tagline, “Once you know, you know,” is designed to herald the search engine’s recent improvements and added features. The effort marks the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company’s first foray into TV advertising.
The new ads are the client’s first since parting ways with Goldberg Moser O’Neill, San Francisco, earlier this year. GMO had created a print and radio campaign for Infoseek that was tagged, “Proof of intelligent life on the Internet.” Infoseek never pursued TV advertising with GMO.
“We are taking a nontech approach with our campaign, although we are looking to target some of the most wired, tech-savvy people in the country,” said Beth Lenahan, an Infoseek representative. “We are an information resource and a powerful search engine, but we needed to establish some personality.”
The TV spots, which were shot in a dark, abandoned Brooklyn warehouse, all follow the same story line and the same characters. The main character, “Johnny,” has been kidnapped by two thugs, who bring him to the warehouse for interrogation. “How do you know what you know?” they ask. Johnny, his mouth covered by duct tape, repeatedly mumbles “Infoseek,” but the thugs can’t understand him. They throw out their own theories–alien abduction, psychic powers, Mafia connections–as Johnny gets increasingly agitated.
Left Field, a San Francisco-based interactive shop, created Internet banner ads and online interstitials for Infoseek. The online campaign will appear on more than 3,700 Web sites, including Hotwired and ESPN Sports, according to Lenahan. Direct mail and outdoor advertising from Ingalls Moranville will support the campaign.