Nextcard Ads Get a Second Wind

Many TV commercials are forgotten shortly after they go through a test run—at least until it is determined if they reached enough customers to warrant wider distribution.

But a new arrangement among an ad agency, one of its clients and an online company is giving some TV spots a second life.

The client is Next card, an Internet company that has launched a $2 million advertising push from Arnold Ingalls Moranville in San Francisco. The company, which offers a credit card for use on the Internet, aired test spots in Portland, Ore., and Denver. While they waited for results, the client and Arnold took the ads to the Internet.

Thanks to an agreement with DSL provider, Web users who log on to the site will see the ads playing in the corner of the screen.

Agency and client officials said the technology marks another step beyond banner advertising.

“Because we are such a big online company, we wanted to marry the best of both worlds,” said Sue deLeeuw, vice president for brand management for Nextcard in San Francisco. “Banners are still very successful, but when you come up with something new you are going to get attention. That’s what we are trying to do in this medium.”

Creatives at Arnold said the arrangement is a good way for their work to be seen in a new format.

“Increasingly we are taking our commercials to the Web,” said creative and managing director Rob Ingalls. “I’m sure you will see a great deal more of this from other agencies and advertisers.”

The online spots continue the tagline from the offline campaign: “Internet shopping as it should be.” The ads feature testimonials shot in black and white and plug Nextcard features such as GoShopping!, an online portal that searches over 2,000 sites to find the lowest prices and highest consumer-rated merchants.

Arnold, which won Nextcard’s account in June 1999, said its spots for other clients may also appear online.