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CNN.COM

Dot.Com Ads Hope Sunday is Super; Trailervision.com Brings you Movie Previews Without the Trouble of a Film; Just How Safe Is Banking Online?

Aired January 29, 2000 - 12:30 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANNOUNCER: Today on CNNdotCOM...

PERRI PELTZ, CO-HOST: Those outrageous dot.com ads.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, TV COMMERCIAL)

WILLIAM SHATNER, ACTOR: Can you dig it?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PELTZ: They're out there, but are they really hitting their target audience?

BOW BOWMAN (ph), CEO, OUTPOST.COM: The problem with those ads was, we didn't tell anybody what we what we did or why it was important.

PELTZ: Now many are boldly going where few dot.coms have gone before: the Super Bowl.

SCOTT DONATON (ph), "ADVERTISING AGE" MAGAZINE: Some companies have really bet the farm on the Super Bowl.

PELTZ: Big stakes riding on the commercial breaks of the big game.

Put your money where your mouse is. How to use your PC to pay the bills.

DANIELLE LEVINE, CHASE MANHATTAN BANK: It's fast, it's easy, it's convenient.

PELTZ: But just how safe is banking online?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Beware.

PELTZ: And trailer trash.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Golly, what is that balloon (ph) up to?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PELTZ: A Web site that brings you the movie trailer -- only there's no movie.

ALBERT NERENBERG, TRAILERVISION.COM: It's our mandate to push the limits of content, what's possible, crazy stories.

PELTZ: All that and more on CNNdotCOM.

ANNOUNCER: CNNdotCOM with Perri Peltz and James Hattori.

PELTZ: Welcome to CNNdotCOM. I'm Perri Peltz.

This weekend's Super Bowl is much more than a faceoff on the field. It's also a bruising battle over the audience as advertisers bang heads for Super Sunday's super ratings.

Joining the fray, about a dozen dot.coms -- in fact, so many Internet companies are making their Super Bowl debut that it's been dubbed the dot.com Bowl.

Some of the Internet startups are spending more on one Super Bowl spot than they've made in profits. It's big money and a big gamble. Will it pay off?

For answers, let's go to this look behind the Internet ads.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, TV COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: When I grow up, I want to file all day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PELTZ (voice-over): The little job-search engine that could. Monster.com took a gamble with a $4 million Super Bowl ad package last year that paid off big.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, TV COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Anything for a raise, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PELTZ: In the 24 hours following the game, the site experienced a 450 percent increase in job searches. One year later, unique visits to Monster.com are up 100 percent.

The only dot.competition Monster had during last year's game was from rival Hotjobs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, TV COMMERCIAL)

ANNOUNCER: Where can you find your dream job? Hotjobs.com.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PELTZ: Hotjobs.com spent half of their 1998 revenue, $1.6 million, on one ad. In the days following the Super Bowl, their site was flooded with so many visitors that company officials were forced to apologize for slow service.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, TV COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I want to be underappreciated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PELTZ: But the relative success of Monster and Hotjobs may be harder to come by this year, according to Scott Donaton, an editor at "Advertising Age" magazine.

SCOTT DONATON, "ADVERTISING AGE" MAGAZINE: Those ads did better than ads will do this year on the Super Bowl, in large part because there wasn't the flood of names.

PELTZ: This year, about a dozen dot.coms, including game veterans Monster and Hotjobs and newcomers like Oxygen.com and Ourbeginning.com, are banking on a big Super Bowl payoff.

DONATON: Some companies have really bet the farm on the Super Bowl. They've spent $3 million for a 30-second ad, and they're going to really have to have some kind of performance out of that advertising. And chances are, for many of them, they won't.

PELTZ: Outpost.com was out of the box early last year with a memorable campaign that aired during last year's NFL playoffs.

DONATON: There was outrageous advertising that did stand out from the more traditional advertising around it. It was one of the only dot.coms saying, Here's our name, here it is again, here it is again.

PELTZ: But getting your name out there isn't necessarily the key to success, according to Outpost.com's CEO, Bob Bowman.

BOW BOWMAN, CEO, OUTPOST.COM: The gerbil ads worked in a limited sense, in the sense that everyone remembers Outpost.com. They did not work in the sense that nobody knows whether Outpost sold gerbils, pet supplies, or whether we sold archery equipment or cannons.

DONATON: This was not about the product or service being sold. It was merely about standing out for the sake of standing out.

BOWMAN: You get people visiting but not buying. And ultimately it's about commerce, not about visitation.

DONATON: Most people today still couldn't tell you what Outpost does.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What does Outpost.com do? What do they do?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I haven't heard much of Outpost.com, but I actually have heard of them.

PELTZ (on camera): Did the gerbils get you branded?

BOWMAN: Clearly they got us branded in the sense that we were different and people remembered our name. But it also got us branded in the sense that we went on everyone's list of what not to do.

DONATON: Just spending money, just having an ad budget, isn't what builds a brand.

PELTZ (voice-over): This year, Outpost chose to invest in more straightforward advertising.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, TV COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Carmen, yes, we stepped over the line with that gerbil stunt, a cheap and tawdry way to get your attention, instead of telling you of the cool computer and electronics products that you can order up until midnight and still get free overnight delivery.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PELTZ (on camera): Give me an example of good advertising, good dot.com advertising.

DONATON: Pets.com.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, TV COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Today, I'm overseeing some deliveries for Pets.com, purely in an advisory role.

I like your shorts. You're a good-looking fellow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DONATON: This is good advertising, because it not only entertains you, but it leaves you remembering the name, remembering what it's about, and why to visit it if you're a pet owner, because you can relate to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, TV COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Try to get it. Try to get it. Try to get the burger.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PELTZ (voice-over): John Homeier (ph) is vice president of marketing at Pets.com.

JOHN HOMEIER, PETS.COM: Well, there's a lot of advertising out there that shocks for shock value, and you may get a brand name out there, but you're really not making an emotional connection with the consumer.

PELTZ: To strike that emotional connection, Pets.com turned to the ad agency responsible for such memorable brand icons as the Energizer Bunny and the Taco Bell chihuahua, TBWA/Chiat Day. And then the sock puppet was born.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, TV COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Max, be patient. I'll get you the meat.

OK, we'll just take two pieces of turkey over here. Thanks a lot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROB SMILEY, TBWA/CHIAT DAY: He speaks directly to everyone. He has the relationship with both humans and animals. But his real love are animals. He goes out of his mind when he sees a dog or a cat enjoying themselves. He can't wait to help them out.

PELTZ: In fact, Pets.com is so confident in the power of the puppet that they're plunging into this year's Super Bowl fray.

HOMEIER: Nearly 150 million people will tune into the game, but, you know, we also believe that Pets.com sock puppet is really breaking through the clutter.

PELTZ: Regardless of clutter, there are plenty of Internet companies who just can't resist the allure of a high-profile Super Bowl ad.

DONATON: A lot of the money being spent in places like the Super Bowl is really aimed at Wall Street and the investors who are watching the game and the business leaders who are watching the game. And you know what? It's even aimed at the CEO sitting around with his friends who gets to say, That's my ad.

PELTZ (on camera): The message is, I'm a big player.

DONATON: Absolutely, the message is...

PELTZ: I'm on the Super Bowl.

DONATON: ... I'm up there with Coca-Cola, I'm up there with Annhueser (ph) Busch, I'm real, take me seriously.

PELTZ (voice-over): And playing with the big boys means paying to play, a tricky proposition when you're an Internet startup.

DONATON: The amount of money being spent on marketing and advertising versus the revenues or profits, if the companies even make profits, is ridiculous right now. These companies will spend $7.6 billion this year alone on advertising.

PELTZ (on camera): What does that mean?

DONATON: It means a heck of a lot when you realize that it's $7 billion, $8 billion that just didn't exist a year ago.

PELTZ (voice-over): For the ad industry, this boom may seem like pennies from heaven, but there are certain risks when agencies are expected to make a quick success out of companies still wet behind the ears.

GEORGE FERTITA (ph), PRESIDENT, MARGIE OTIS (ph) FERTITA AND PARTNERS: We have been approached by probably 40 dot.coms over the last year. We've been fortunate that we've secured about six or seven of them, and we've also rejected well over 20.

PELTZ: George Fertita is president of Margie Otis Fertita and Partners advertising agency.

(on camera): George, why pass on them? Here is this moment in time where there are a lot of companies out there throwing a lot of money around. Why not take what you can take and go with it?

FERTITA: I think it's very important to build clients' businesses. We are very, very careful in only working with clients who we believe have a good business model that can be very, very successful, not because their stock price did a blip for a moment in time.

PELTZ (voice-over): Preferring to err on the side of caution, Fertita convinced clients like About.com and Dealtime.com to hold back on advertising during the jam-packed holiday season and the Super Bowl.

(on camera): So then the mistake that's being made by the dot.coms is what?

FERTITA: That there's a silver bullet. I don't believe, with rare exceptions, that a singular presence, whether it's on a Super Bowl or any other sort of event marketing opportunity, is really going to make the difference that it could have made 10 years ago.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PELTZ: Some dot.coms have actually pulled their spots out of the Super Bowl competition because of so-so results from their holiday ad blitz. Others have decided to stay on the sidelines and bank on special promotional campaigns.

By the way, those gerbils in the Outpost.com commercial -- they were fake.

We'll be right back.

ANNOUNCER: Just ahead on the DOT -- you've seen the trailer, but you can never see the movie. A sneak peek at a Web site that is only for sneak peeks, when CNNdotCOM continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(AUDIO GAP)

ANNOUNCER: ... the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. Here's James Hattori.

JAMES HATTORI, CO-HOST: So much to cover, so little time. Here are just a few of the things that happened in the world of high tech this past week.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): Virtual voting. Voters in several winter-bound districts of northern Alaska didn't have to slog through snow to vote in the statewide Republican straw poll this week. All they had to do was log onto VoteHere.net and click onto the candidate of their choice.

Six weeks from now, Election.com will allow Arizona Democrats to turn their personal computers into a ballot box during the state's primary. Critics argue Internet voting digs a deeper digital divide. Guess that could make voting on your PC un-PC.

Standing on line. Do those long lines to get your driver's license drive you crazy? Then move to Virginia. The commonwealth is the first state in the nation to offer online license renewals. All you need is a PIN code for security from the Motor Vehicle Department and a major credit card -- that, and a clean record. Bad drivers, get offline and head to the back of the queue.

Making Jeeves blush. Ask the dot.com butler, Jeeves, anything, and he seems to know the answer. But what if you have a question about sex? Well, Jeeves will tell you things no gentleman's gentleman should, and provides links to adult sites. That's a problem for the folks who run Askjeeves.com. There's no filter to screen out adult questions.

So they're thinking about sending sex inquiries to a completely different site. They have two domain names already registered, www.asksex.com and www.askadult.com. After all, the prim and proper butler is easily embarrassed.

Talking head. She's the perfect news anchor, able to deliver the news flawlessly 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Her name is Ananova, and she's the digital creation of the interactive division of the Press Association, the British news agency. The virtual news anchor will start Web newscasting in April. She went online this week with her own Web site, www.ananova.com.

She's programmed to be 28 years old, five-foot-eight, and a cross between Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, a.k.a. Posh, Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue, and British news reader Carol Vorderman (ph). Oh, and she's got blue-green hair to avoid that whole blonde-brunette debate.

(END VIDEOTAPE) PELTZ: Clearly, this digital revolution thing may be going too far. Now we've got competition with virtual anchors!

And speaking of virtual competition, there's a Web site that's going head to head with Hollywood trailers. It's called Trailervision.com. But this site asks the question, if you've got a great trailer, why bother to make the movie?

James Hattori has "Nothin' But Net."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "END OF DAYS" TRAILER)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You have much hatred in your heart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HATTORI (voice-over): Ever see a movie trailer that you like better than the movie?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "END OF DAYS" TRAILER)

ROD STEIGER, ACTOR: There are forces here at work you couldn't possibly comprehend.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HATTORI: Well, what if there was no movie? Welcome to Trailervision.com, a Web site out of Toronto that features innovative, satirical movie trailers for movies that don't exist.

The site began as a companion to a short-lived TV pilot but quickly became a computer-age cult phenomenon. Now, every Monday, fans from Texas to Thailand can log on and find a new Trailer of the Week premiering on their desktops.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MODEMAN")

ACTRESS: You've gotta see this.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Eddie's making Web pages with his mouth!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HATTORI: Its content and recurring characters are, well, outrageous.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "J2K: JESUS 2000")

ACTRESS: We just went public.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and fell in with the wrong kind of crowd.

HATTORI: Production values are high, and it's a medium that gives the filmmakers complete creative control.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE MAN WITH NO HEAD")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Dammit, Taylor, you can't love a man with no head!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HATTORI: Hollywood, watch out.

ALBERT NERENBERG, TRAILERVISION.COM: The Web wants you to be crazy. The Web wants you to be edgy and really push the limits.

And I think it's our job, it's our mandate, to push the limits of content, what's possible, crazy stories, Jesus coming back for the year 2000, Santa Claus on the rampage, all kinds of, you know, action, women taking over the world, and the man with no head -- all these ideas are pretty crazy.

I don't think they're ready for Hollywood yet, and that's probably the idea. We don't care of Hollywood's ready for us, we're ready for them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I want you to hug me as hard as you can.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Why?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HATTORI: Many of the trailers are spoofs of Hollywood films...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I was so scared. I was so scared!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HATTORI: ... while others have never been seen before.

KIM ZETTER, "PC WORLD": It's an idea that's long overdue, and I think the director does a marvelous job with it. The sound is great, the pictures are great, the acting is even surprisingly great. I think Bruce Willis should be watching his back.

HATTORI: Trailervision's studios are based on Toronto, with production taking place in New York, Los Angeles, Texas, Britain, France, and Australia, to bring these over-the-top features to the small screen. And they keep production costs down by using special tricks.

NERENBERG: Instead of hiring extras, we actually go to the riot and we shoot, we put the actors in the riot, and we shoot the mob scene in the riot. That way, you know, we get all the extras, we get thousands of people, we get the big feeling without having to hire extras.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "J2K: JESUS 2000")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Let's go over there and crack some heads!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HATTORI: Trailervision is free and provides links to other sites where you can view the trailers in different formats. So if you prefer the 90-second money shot (ph) in lieu of the full-length feature film, the best seat in the house is in front of your computer at Trailervision.com.

ANNOUNCER: Up next, IDG's NerdWord, "dribbleware." Got any in your kitchen cabinet? Test your digital IQ when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PELTZ: And now, NerdWord. Grab your digital dictionary, it's time for today's term, "dribbleware." No, it's not what happens when sloppy kids end up with more food on them than in them. And no, it's not a marketing term for those basketball shorts that are so baggy you can barely keep them from falling down.

Dribbleware, as the name suggests, is software that trickles to you over time, instead of arriving all at once.

In the old days, before widespread Internet use, software companies didn't ship programs until all the kinks had been worked out. But when the Internet made downloading fixes and upgrades easy, software companies became more comfortable with shipping incomplete programs. And dribbleware was born.

And if your software program requires two different downloads, guess you'd have to call that double-dribbleware.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PELTZ: It's the end of the month, and all those bills are still stacked up and fast coming due. Maybe you've thought about banking online and letting your PC pay your creditors. But how do you do it, and how safe is your money?

Mary Kathleen Flynn put those questions to Danielle Levine with Chase Manhattan Bank. Here are some tools for turning your personal computer into your personal banker.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARY KATHLEEN FLYNN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So Danielle, why should people bank online?

DANIELLE LEVINE, CHASE MANHATTAN BANK: Well, actually, it's a great way to bank. You know, we're trying to give customers the ability to bank kind of any time they want to, anywhere they want to, and how they want to. You can look at your account, see, you know, what's cleared, what hasn't cleared. You can also pay your bills. You can pay not only, you know, like, your phone bill, but you can actually pay anyone. You can pay your baby sitter.

And it's either -- for someone, like, if it's your phone bill, we'll send it electronically. Someone like your babysitter, you know, Chase will actually just cut a check on your behalf and send it out.

FLYNN: So let's say I want to balance my checkbook online. How would I do that?

LEVINE: What you'd do is, you'd be able to see your account activity, and you just click on Export Activity. And what it will do is, it will create a file that you can then import into, if you have, like, a Money or a Quicken type tool.

To pay a bill online is very easy. If it's the first time you're making the payment to this biller, you just set up the biller. It's a one-time process.

So you go into Add Payee, and we ask you information, so you'd be putting in, you know, the biller's name. If you want to, we allow you to make a nickname, so it could just be, you know, Credit Card. The account number, the address.

And then you say OK, and we'll actually give you a verification and confirmation screen to make sure all the information is correct.

FLYNN: But how do I know a bill's actually been sent?

LEVINE: Well, you can always go into your payment history and see the information there, so you can look it up by biller and see all the payments that you've made to that biller, so you know it's been sent. But also, when we -- when you do the payment, we're also going to give you a confirmation screen that has a reference number on it.

FLYNN: So Danielle, let's take a look at how we might do a transfer, say, from my savings account to my checking account.

LEVINE: Well, you go into the Transfer section, and you can just select which accounts you want to transfer from or to with the date and the amount. And again, it's instantaneous. So if I transferred money from my savings account into my checking account, I could then run down to the ATM machine and withdraw the money.

FLYNN: How secure is it to do your banking online?

LEVINE: It's actually very secure. You know, a lot of people kind of have concerns about that. Like a lot of the banking industry, we require the highest encryption possible, the 128-bit encrypted browser, which we require. And that means that from the moment you log on till the minute you log off, all the information that's sent between you and Chase is encrypted so people can't hack into it.

We also offer a risk-free guarantee, so that if, you know, someone steals your password or something, somehow there's some fraudulent activity online, if you let us know, you know, in a timely manner, we'll reimburse you, so you're not held accountable for that.

FLYNN: Is there anything that I can do at the ATM that I can't do with the computer?

LEVINE: Well, we haven't figured out a way to spit out cold, hard cash yet, but we're working on it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PELTZ: When you think of technogeeks, NFL players may not be the first to come to mind. But some pro football players are as savvy online as they are on the field. So with the Super Bowl this weekend, we decided to ask some of the players and the coaches just one question.

We wanted to know, how has technology changed the game of football?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

DICK VERMEIL, ST. LOUIS RAMS HEAD COACH: Well, the technology provides you with information quickly. The computer tells us everything that everybody's been doing by down and distance, and it tells us everything we've been doing. You know, and so we hope -- we know as much about ourselves as we know about our opponents.

BRAD HOPKINS, TENNESSEE TITANS: I've been using the Internet to find out, you know, what's going on in other squads, because you don't get their papers, but, you know, it's an amazing tool.

KEITH LYLE, ST. LOUIS RAMS: I look at the Rams on the Net. I look at the NFL.com on the Net. There's a lot of things. But I'm just, like, a Net junkie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PELTZ: Well, for the rest of you Net junkies who want even more Super Bowl hype, click onto CNN's sports site, cnnsi.com. You can also surf on over to the official site at Superbowl.com.

That's it for this week. Thanks so much for watching.

For all of us here at the DOT, I'm Perri Peltz. We hope to see you again next week.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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