Press Release: Neopets Immerse in Success - Client: Neopets - Date: September 2000

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Specialist Gen Y website, NeoPets.com, has laid claimto positive results for its new 'immersive? technology, an interactive form of advertising used by a host of major sponsors during the last six months, including Universal Studios' The Grinch, Turner Broadcasting's Cartoon Network Warner Bros.' Pokemon: The Movie 2000, Watermark Press, Britannica and others.

Sponsors have had their products and messages integrated into the popular activities and adventures of the Neopets site, an interactive Web community where new members create their NeoPet, select its name, color and traits such as personality, intelligence and special abilities.

Commenting on the campaign, Chief Operating Officer Lee Borth said, "We have developed immersive advertising to leverage our remarkable stickiness. Immersive advertising creates a lasting impression with our users, particularly so when compared to traditional magazin or TV ads (which may never be seen), or distractive banner ads that are frequently not even within the focus of the user. Because of the size of the site and the number of unique users aged 9 - 19, the opportunities with immersive advertising are unlimited."

The immersive methodology is currently unique to NeoPets site, which currently has over 4 million registered members, who according to PC Data Online spend an average of nearly 6 hours a month interacting with the site, making NeoPets.com one of the stickiest Gen Y sites on the Web.

NeoPets.com claim users interact directly with the sponsor's products, characters, and messages for extended periods, ensuring lasting and easily measurable impressions, exeeding expectations by as much as fourfold.

With their NeoPets, Gen Y members enter Neopia, the virtual world of NeoPets.com, which contains forests, mountains, rivers, and villages - each offering unique multi-layered activities. Members can earn Neopoints, the free currency of the site, which enables them to buy virtual items in various shops, feed and care for their pet, participate in virtual auctions, and perhaps even play the stock market.

A spoksperson for Warner marketing said while there was no concrete numerative evidence justifying the ad spend, they were generally pleased with the results so far of the immersive Neopets campaign. Although the Internet is a relatively new component of the overall advertising mix, immersive advertsing will form a significant component of future advertising strategy,? the spokesperson said.

Written by Craig Stephens

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