Selects Ant Farm

Internet Experience Furnishes Edge in Win of Online Account
ATLANTA–Ant Farm Interactive has won the online portion of’s advertising account.
The traditional segment of the advertising business had previously been awarded to DDB Worldwide, with Hill and Knowlton gaining public relations duties. When those New York agency wins were announced, client marketing vice president Steve Tortolani said the entire integrated marketing campaign would bill $25 million.
Last week Tortolani said the account’s interactive budget would top $5 million.
Tortolani said DDB’s division, DDB Digital in Dallas, sought the business, as did Washington, D.C.-based Magnet Interactive. He said the Atlanta Internet agency seemed more comfortable working in the online environment.
“Ant Farm was so responsive and just so clearly ‘got it,’ that it shows how people who grew up in that online environment are so much better than . . . [those] who learn it from the outside,” Tortolani said. “DDB had really great thinking, but [Ant Farm’s] immediate responsiveness in the pitch process showed us they really understood what we needed and that’s how they would treat our business.”
“We studied their business and approached them with ideas and plans to fill in the gaps where they needed help,” said Michael Koziol, strategy director at Ant Farm. “We demonstrated that we met their needs right up front.”
Ant Farm will manage online media planning and buying, interactive creative services, branding and ongoing data analysis It will also provide the counsel and support of its strategic partnerships practice. is based in Pasadena, Calif. The e-commerce site specializes in home decor and design products. It is a division of Idealab!, which has launched the online ventures and
The three principals of Ant Farm Interactive, which opened in June, previously worked together on Internet projects for BellSouth Intelliventures. Media director Melissa Honabach and creative director Elizabeth Daulton join Koziol in managing the shop.
“We’re not intimidated pitching against anybody,” Koziol told Adweek. “There’s nobody out there–even the biggest advertising agency in the world–that has more Internet advertising experience than we do.”