License rights to Lennon/McCartney's Help! for Multifaceted $20 Million Campaign
San Francisco, CA -September 21, 1999 - LookSmart (Nasdaq: LOOK), a leading Web directory and search service, today launched its $20 million consumer branding initiative kicking off with television commercials airing in major markets nationwide. In addition to television commercials, the branding initiative includes a radio campaign scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter of 1999 and a print campaign scheduled to launch January 2000.
Created by San Francisco-based Rathje Chadwick & Company, LookSmart's advertising agency-of-record, the television commercials feature the theme song "Help!" written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The commercials highlight LookSmart's dedication to providing consumers with the highest quality search experiences on the Web while also illustrating LookSmart's mainstream, family-oriented audience.
"Through our advertising campaign, we want to communicate to consumers that we understand their frustrations with internet searching and that we are committed to helping them find what they are looking for through our unique offer of full-spectrum service, including what we believe to be the best category-search, keyword search and interactive search help on the Web," said Val Landi, senior vice president of marketing and media services at LookSmart. "We are particularly reaching out to our target 'New Media Family' audience comprised primarily of female household purchase decision-makers. We have focussed all our media buying and all our creative at this target group - enabling us to have greater impact for less branding investment."
"We deliberately chose not to launch a major branding initiative until our consumers consistently told us we have a superior product - through extensive consumer research we are confident that we have reached that milestone and are excited to communicate it to a broader audience," said Evan Thornley, co-founder and CEO of LookSmart. "According to Media Metrix's August rankings, LookSmart is one of the top 15 most visited Web properties without having yet made any consumer branding investment. With the launch of our advertising campaign, consumer awareness of LookSmart's dedication to providing the highest quality search experience will soar."
As previously announced, LookSmart's branding initiative also includes its sponsorship of five PBS programs including SESAME STREET, MYSTERY!, THE CHEFS OF CUCINA AMORE, GREAT FOOD, and MASTERCHEF USA. The sponsored programs reach approximately 18 million PBS viewers each week through broadcast and Web exposure. LookSmart's sponsorship messages will air at the beginning and end of each sponsored program and acknowledgment of LookSmart will also appear on each series' Web site. LookSmart's Web site also will showcase selected audio and video re-runs from the three cooking programs that are not currently broadcast on PBS.
LookSmart (Nasdaq: LOOK) is a leading Web directory and search service that creates and maintains one of the largest editorially reviewed directories of content on the World Wide Web. LookSmart's directory is distributed through multiple channels, including a global network of ISPs, major Web sites, portals and viral marketing. Through its partnership with Cox Interactive Media, LookSmart also offers one of the largest collections of quality local Web content in more than 65 U.S. markets. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and can be contacted at (415) 597-4850.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including the Company's expectations as to Internet users and traffic measurement metrics that involve risks and uncertainties. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated for many reasons, including the failure to maintain and increase our audience of loyal users, improve or maintain traffic measurement metrics, and those reasons described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.