A2Zshopping.com to Launch $18 Million Campaign

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A2Zshopping.com, an online retail site for varied items such as electronics, video games and home and garden supplies, will kick off an $18 million marketing and advertising campaign to accompany the site's official launch on April 15.

The site, which has been up since December, has been completely overhauled. To promote its latest incarnation online, 150 different pieces of creative making up 15 to 18 million banner ad impressions will run for an eight-week period.

"We're going to do high saturation, short duration," said Scott Filipps, COO of A2Zshopping.com, San Diego. "We're going to do the high saturation and back out four to six weeks and then go back in for another high saturation throughout the third quarter. Then we'll ramp up for the Christmas shopping season."

The site will fine-tune the campaign according to these early ad buys. "We're going to find out the specific banner in the specific channel that brings the best returns," said Filipps. It has also created a proprietary system that targets people who have registered at the site and started shopping but never finished with coupons and other incentives.

A2Zshopping.com has been sending out 10 to 20 million e-mails a month since its soft launch in December to alert people about the site and offer them discounts on selected items. The opt-in lists were purchased from a variety of companies including Venture Direct. In the meantime, the site has been working to build its house lists as everyone who registers at the site is automatically entered into its e-mail database to receive special offers.

To reach its core target of males 25 to 54, the site will run a mix of online and offline elements.

As a precursor to the campaign, advertisements for the site began to appear on airlines entertainment systems on April 1. Four hundred million views of a 90-second video newsreel featuring the site will appear before and after onboard movies for an eight-week span.

A direct mail campaign will be sent out on April 15th advertising one of the client vendors, Video Game City, and the site itself. Additional drops are expected to occur using partner vendor lists.

A massive radio campaign will be rolled out starting in California with 90 spots a day. Nationwide, spots will appear on network radio ranging from the Wall Street Journal network to the Howard Stern morning show.

Print ads will begin appearing regularly throughout the year in publications such as Inc., Fortune, Fast Company, Ski, Spin, Rolling Stone, People, Outdoor Photographer and Entertainment Weekly.

Outdoor signage will appear in Austin, San Jose and Washington, D.C. It will be extended to seven additional markets in May.

Television advertising will be unveiled later in the year. To target holiday shoppers the site's commercials will hit many of the major cable networks, ranging from CNBC to ESPN to Bravo.

A2Zshopping.com's retail shops are generally run by groups of 10 to 12 owners. Using this unique model for its marketing needs, the site is planning a "University Club" program for the fall school year. The program will grant four schools their own online store. The school that has the best results will either win a yet-to-be-decided prize of either travel or the store itself. Next year, the program will be expanded to one university in every state. "This is a fantastic marketing tool for developing brand awareness," said Filipps.

It also satisfies one of the online world's biggest needs -- the need for talent, as it will be an "awesome recruiting platform," he said.

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