MrSkin.com Looks for Exposure at Ad:techCHICAGO -- Hardly anyone at the Ad:tech Chicago conference wants to do business with the marketing guy at MrSkin.com.
And who would blame them? Many may balk at working with a Web site that serves reviews based on the female nudity content -- not dramatic content -- in movies and television shows.
"What I'm looking to do here is fill our ad space, do more advertising in other venues and also do some search engine marketing, even though some people won't take our business," Derek Meklir, vice president of marketing at SK Intertainment Inc., Chicago, said yesterday. "We want to spend our money, but they won't work with us."
Ad:tech delegates who recoil after Meklir discloses his provenance should take some time to ask questions. They would learn that 30,000 subscribers pay $30 a month to access content and images at www.mrskin.com. Users see full reviews, actor bios, clips and pictures of nude scenes in just about every movie since 1908.
The company's 30 employees ensure that MrSkin.com and sibling sites like www.bmoviebabes.com, www.asianbabes.com and www.cndb.com (for the Celebrity Nude Database, a riff on Amazon's Internet Movie Database at www.imdb.com) are well categorized. Subscribers can search by keyword, genre, year, country, lesbian, shower scene, bath scene, monster/human intimacy and so on.
Non-members get access to only parts of the reviews and bios.
Meklir said MrSkin.com features not just obscure actresses. The site boasts the scantily clad moments of celebrities like Halle Berry ("Monster's Ball"), Alyssa Milano (many movies, including "Embrace of the Vampire") and Maureen McCormick (yes, Marcia Brady from the "Brady Bunch," in "Texas Lightning").
Also in the inventory are scenes from Sharon Stone ("Basic Instinct"), Reese Witherspoon ("Twilight") and Julia Roberts (two brief frames in "Pretty Woman" where she decided not to use a body double).
"We freeze the frame, which is what we do in our business," Meklir said.
The site even has Janet Jackson's famous wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Super Bowl. Traffic online skyrocketed the next day.
"It made us a lot of money," Meklir said. "It was a great day for us."
For all its woes at Ad:tech Chicago this year and conferences past, the company has working relationships with some of the exhibitors like Google, Kanoodle, Miva and Yahoo Search Marketing. It relies on search marketing, banner ads on male-oriented sites like Moviefone and Bomis.com, the few ads in print and an affiliate program called MrSkinCash.com.
Perhaps the most successful promotional tactic is radio. Jim McBride, founder of SK Intertainment and widely known as "MrSkin," usually appears on 500 radio shows yearly. The 43-year-old also has appeared on Howard Stern's show, most recently to promote his book, "MrSkin's Skincyclopedia," from St. Martin's Press. Site visits typically spike after radio appearances.
Then there are T-shirts, so often the preferred tactic of online vendors. Meklir wore his without fear. It showed a headshot of a smiling middle-aged man next to the site name. The tagline read, "Fast forward to the good parts."
By now, Meklir is used to people's reaction to his company. He's even a bit blasé about rejection.
"My thought on being turned down is that, at some point, most companies will rethink working with adult companies since we run the Internet, basically," he said. "We're a $20 billion industry."
Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters