Captivate Capitalizes on Captive Audience

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Captivate Network, a digital at-work news and information network, is using direct mail to make an elevator pitch.

The Westford, MA, company starts a campaign today targeting 3,500 executives at ad agencies and brand marketers to reignite their interest in running ads on screens placed in elevators.

"A big part of what we do from a marketing standpoint is educate people about the power of using a medium like this," said John Bigay, Captivate's vice president of marketing and programming. "People ask, 'How do I fit my marketing goals in with all this new technology? How do I really use all these new and different options?' We educate the marketplace about the value we can bring."

The campaign is to run through the year and begins with the mailing of an informational box. The royal blue box features a meditating yogi and clouds, with the slogan, "Elevator Meditations: Freeing the mind, Getting the Message, Going up."

Captivate has 7,000 wireless, digital screens in the elevators of office towers throughout North America to provide news, entertainment and advertising to 2 million viewers who go up and down those buildings.

"People want to know the level of engagement that customers are going to have with their brands," Mr. Bigay said. "We can give them a space with no other distractions."

Along with the direct mail component, there is an ongoing ad campaign on Captivate Network itself and in print. The company also is launching a site at to support the effort.

Captivate Network was founded in 1999 and runs ads from hundreds of brands including McDonalds, Microsoft, Visa, BMW, Kodak and Universal Studios. Its programming and ads broadcast to business professionals 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"The campaign plays off of a unique environment, a world where there is an increasing amount of clutter, [where] people are increasingly multitasking," Mr. Bigay said.

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