Herlihy Uses Humor on Net Users

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A mail campaign created by The Herlihy Marketing Group uses a visual joke to warn Internet users of the dangers of computer viruses.

The headline and graphic device on the piece -- "y0ur filez R hist0ry, dude! hee hee…" -- promote McAfee's VirusScan, anti-virus system.

The client opted for humor as the best way to reach prospects, said Jackie Bailey, director of new business for The Herlihy Marketing Group, Oakland, CA, a 15-year-old direct marketing agency whose clients include Wells Fargo, Autodesk and Hibernia National Bank.

"We presented many versions, and they felt that the most profitable target were people on computer networks who go on the Internet often," Bailey said, "and this was the approach that would best appeal to that audience."

The client had used illustration on marketing materials for a less-than-serious approach before, but it never had been so blatant.

The agency dropped 50,000 pieces in late February, mainly to business prospects but also to some high-end consumer computer users. The size of the mailing was determined after searching for prospects in McAfee's database of owners of other McAfee products, such as Total Virus Defense and Total Service Desk, and the database of Network Associates, the Silicon Valley software company that recently acquired McAfee.

People whose computers are networked, Internet users and those whose equipment is compatible with the McAfee VirusScan were selected for the mailing. Network users were a natural choice because of the danger of multiple infection, Bailey said.

Twenty percent of the names for the mailing came from McAfee's database, and the bulk of the rest came from the database of Network Associates. Results of the mailing were not immediately available. This is Herlihy's first assignment from Network Associates and McAfee.

Gillespie Boosts Healthcare DM

The healthcare group created by advertising agency Gillespie's acquisition of healthcare marketing firm RAR & Associates plans to search for new ways to deliver targeted healthcare messages.

"With changes in regulations, particularly those governing pharmaceutical advertising on television, a lot of agencies are taking a mass-marketing approach," said Richard Romagnola, who will lead the new group, called Gillespie/RAR Healthcare, as managing partner. "We really want to go direct to new markets."

Romagnola was founder and president of RAR & Associates, which was acquired at the end of February for an undisclosed sum. Before its acquisition, RAR, Short Hills, NJ, reported annual billings of $15 million and had worked with clients such as Janssen, Merck, Novartis and Schering-Plough.

RAR had targeted at-risk groups -- such as African-Americans, who have higher incidences of diabetes -- with healthcare marketing, Romagnola said. Together with the added direct and database marketing capabilities of Gillespie, Princeton, NJ, the new division will look at new ways to target patients.

"Strategically, we wanted to go direct to patients and professionals, and Gillespie has a great deal of experience in direct marketing," Romagnola said. "We've done some direct and targeted marketing but we've been limited."

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