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Spring 1999: New Pert Plus Site Perks Traffic for P&G

The name itself evokes unusual interest and curiosity. Procter & Gamble's New Pert Plus Web site ( features a unique character called 'Sinkboy', a hip young man with a full head of jet black hair who pops up throughout the New Pert Plus Web site offering his snippets of hair-oriented advice.

The site, launched Feb. 15, was created for Procter & Gamble by Chicago-based Giant Step, a turnkey digital solutions firm. The campaign makes extensive use of in-banner registration and interaction, incorporating animated gifs.

According to Melisa Vazquez, Giant Step's account director for P&G, the Web site was created to generate consumer awareness and drive traffic for New Pert Plus, a combination shampoo and conditioner.

"P&G wanted the site to be viewer-friendly and provide consumers with immediate gratification," Vazquez says. "It's not just about pushing a message, but also providing something for the consumer, which includes product samples, chances to win contests, a trip, and more."

The New Pert Plus site is easy to navigate. Viewers first see a colorful bulls-eye design with a moniker in the middle that reads, 'Place Your Head Here.' If you dawdle a few seconds the verbiage suddenly changes and flashes No, really do it! '

Viewers can then choose from a wide variety of icons. Click on Clean Conditioning: What's In It For Me,' for instance, and you get a detailed description of the benefits of using New Pert Plus. A hyperlink within the description takes you to a graphic with pull downs describing the eight variations available of the product (which includes versions for normal hair, dry or damaged hair, oily hair, normal conditioning for kids, etc.).

Click on Sinkboy: Up Close & Personal, and you're treated to a footloose dialogue from Sinkboy who not only waxes eloquent on the benefits of the product, but also provides a litany of what are called Sinkboy's Pet Peeves, tongue-in-cheek bullet points such as birds who think I'm a mobile birdbath, getting a bad finger cramp in mid-lather, and so on.

But while Sinkboy plays an integral role as the campaign's spokesman, there is a lot more to the site. Vazquez says offering consumers in-banner sample requests and in-banner sweepstakes entries have generated considerable site traffic. Click 'Lather, Rinse, Win' or 'Get A Friend in A Lather', and you not only receive a free product sample, but you're registered to win prizes such as a trip to Miami, Sony DVD players, and Sony Discmen.

Giant Step declined to release traffic and demographic statistics as this article went to press. But Vazquez says that an Oracle database on the back-end has delivered robust data to P&G which significantly measures a wide variety of data such as length of time on the site, how visitors are coming back, e-mail referrals, qualified leads, detached site usage, and more.

"We're generating site traffic by putting the URL on TV ads as well as using exclusive online media," Vazquez says. Specifically, we are working with E!Online, MTV, Sony and others. Content sponsorships bring the experience to the consumer"

Sony Web site visitors, for example, see a banner ad slugged, 'Donate Your Head to Science', that features an animated schematic of the top of a person's head. Click on the banner ad and you're taken to the New Pert Plus site.

"In essence, we're utilizing online permission-based marketing techniques to deliver value to consumers and get great measurement and learning for New Pert Plus," Vazquez says. "The campaign has been very successful and brings New Pert Plus to consumers in innovative ways."

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