South Africa's largest Internet portal, 24.com, today announced the arrival of TwoFour, a robotic walking, talking and somewhat cheeky search engine. The innovative attention-seeking device will be catapulted in celebritydom as the central character in a marketing campaign urging local consumers to make 24.com their homepage.
TwoFour makes his debut today in television adverts on the MNET and DSTV channels and on national radio stations, 5FM as well as Metro FM. The new face of 24.com will also make appearances on select outdoor advertising as well as promotions inside Vida e Caffe outlets, nationwide.
"We had to consider our users and potential target markets very strategically and carefully identify a larger than life tactic that would cut through the somewhat cluttered advertising that bombard them on a daily basis," says Russell Hanly, Chief Executive: Commercial at 24.com.
It is a challenge to make the intangible concept of the internet real to consumers and obtain their buy-in into something they can't see. Wendy Moorcroft, creative director at Ogilvy Cape Town says that her team stepped-up to the challenge. "The idea to create this TwoFour character is a strong one as it gives us the talking, real-life "Face Of" search on 24.com, allowing consumers to build a relationship with something real," she says. TwoFour even has his own blogspace at http://blogs.24.com/twofour
The idea was for TwoFour to bring a certain "cool" factor to search engines, ensuring widespread appeal to the local online market. An expert on South Africa, TwoFour has his own blog site, a list of celebrity ex-girlfriends and has become quite au fait with the hottest local hot spots on the social scene. The character has also been given a physical presence with the manufacture of a life-like radio-controlled robot that has a (pre-recorded) voice and will be used to attend social functions, further driving the 24.com brand home to consumers during this promotional drive.
24.com offers users a bouquet of services including blogs, free e-mail, photo albums, music downloads, weather, news and links to the other niche websites, all with a uniquely South African flavour. The focus for the 24.com launch campaign will fall on search as main online tool.
The broadcast campaign starts on the 23rd of October with the aim to introduce TwoFour to the market. This will be done with generic radio and TV spots. On the 3rd of November, a 15-day competition element begins. Supported via radio and online, consumers will be directed to 24.com with a clue that will help them find a hidden TwoFour. Entrants stand inline to win an Apple Macbook per day for the duration of the campaign.
"By offering prizes that appeal to our target audience, incorporating brands that they live by, this drive is more likely to be successful," says Hanly. The campaign also includes coffee cup tags in-store at Vida e Caffe's, and poster and screen advertising at major airports. The radio campaigns run for three weeks from 23 October 2006, with television flightings on M-Net and DSTV during October and November.
To learn more about 24.com, the full range of services they offer, and their trendy new search engine character, TwoFour, point your browser to www.24.comView the TV Spots here:Ad 1
(2.85mb)Listen to the Radio Spots here:Ad 1