Online players will be looking to catch the eyes of syndicators and station executives at this week's Promax/BDA convention in New Orleans. Among those dotcoms are Zatso, which manages local station newscast Web sites; iwin.com, an Internet gaming site that promotes entertainment content; and Razorfish, which extends programming from the TV to PCs and beyond.
None are new kids on the block. Zatso has partnerships with Scripps, Meredith and Media General. Iwin.com has worked with King World and Studios USA. Razorfish is developing portals for a couple of studios. But all are looking to make new friends.
"We can teach folks in the promotion department how to promote their product on the Internet and fully realize the Web's potential for reinforcing their brand," says Linda Maynard, Zatso's director of marketing and promotions. But holding tight to traditional station talent, bypassing trendy computer-generated cyber-anchors, is crucial, says Maynard. "We have to keep in mind the brand that the television station has built up over decades."
Also looking for some new players is iwin.com. The gaming site most recently helped launch Maury Povich's new Web site and drummed up buzz for Wheel of Fortune's May interactive sweepstakes. Syndicators paid for the assistance by buying ads on the site.
Razorfish, which acquired the marketing firm Lee Hunt and Associates last December, can dazzle with its high-tech wizardry. Most recently, it plastered PBS content on a slew of screens: TV, Internet, a personal digital assistant (i.e. Palm Pilot) and cell phone. "Web people often don't speak the same language as TV people," says Hunt, now entertainment and media chief of Razorfish. "But part of our message is 'Hey, look, we're TV people that have moved into this new world, and we're here to help you move into it.'"