AOL TV ad push tries to boost net use at home

AOL, the UK’s largest online service provider, becomes the first company in its sector to advertise on TV next week when a new pounds 6 million campaign breaks.

AOL, the UK’s largest online service provider, becomes the first

company in its sector to advertise on TV next week when a new pounds 6

million campaign breaks.



The ad blitz, which will run for 12 weeks and will also comprise press,

poster and radio work, is the first to be created by Mortimer Whittaker

O’Sullivan since the agency was appointed to the account in

September.



Media buying is by BBJ Media Services.



Aimed squarely at getting a greater number of ordinary families to use

AOL to help them get online, the campaign introduces a friendly brand

spokeswoman, Connie. In the lead 40-second commercial, she emerges from

the AOL welcome screen, wearing a computer-generated dress on which

pages from the internet scroll up and down.



Following her introduction through this ad, Connie will go on at a later

date to talk about specific concerns. In the next 40-second ad, breaking

in January, she will address the issue of parental control over internet

access.



Her role as a friendly helper is designed to mirror the hand-holding

service provided by AOL, which has just launched a second freecall help

centre for subscribers. Karen Thomson, the AOL marketing director, said:

’She is very much a friend of the family. The tone of voice is enabling

rather than ’teachy’.’



Tim Mortimer, a partner at MWO, commented: ’AOL is acting like a brand

leader and is determined to take that role. The only way to do that is

to use TV.’



Thomson added: ’We built the business to where it is with below-the-line

work. Now we have a brand with established values and the time is right

to communicate that to the general public.’



AOL has just over 25 per cent of the UK online market with 450,000

subscribers, leading rivals, Compuserve and Demon, with 400,000 and

185,000 respectively.



The ad was written by John O’Sullivan and art directed by Chris

Whittaker.



It was directed by Richard Sloggett through Will van der Vlugt. Post

production was carried out by Glassworks.



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