Is this microsite hot or not?

Toronto-based Unilever Canada's latest online effort for its ThermaSilk hair care brand sucks teen girls in with what they like most: hunky guys. The brainchild of Toronto-based agency Capital C, the promo centres on a microsite, hitonmyhotguy.ca, where girls can build their own virtual dreamboats and then e-mail them to friends complete with a 'correct'

Toronto-based Unilever Canada’s latest online effort for its ThermaSilk hair care brand sucks teen girls in with what they like most: hunky guys. The brainchild of Toronto-based agency Capital C, the promo centres on a microsite, hitonmyhotguy.ca, where girls can build their own virtual dreamboats and then e-mail them to friends complete with a ‘correct’

pick-up line to test on him.

Girls must register beforehand, but they receive a free ringtone download from MuchMusic’s online store to make it worth their while. And, they’re automatically entered to win weekly prizes from retailers like HMV and Aldo.

The site is being promoted by banner ads on the likes of muchmusic.com, nexopia.com and a branded room at CHUM’s Habbo Hotel. The effort also included a :15 spot on MuchMusic, featuring a (real) cute guy taking off shirts that say things like ‘dress me.’ The campaign has been getting all the right attention: Within five weeks of launching, the microsite received 126,000 unique hits, with an average visit time of 40 minutes.

We asked Max Valiquette, president of Toronto-based youth consultancy Youthography, and Kathy Kohn, creative strategy director at

Toronto-based interactive agency henderson bas, to let us know if they think this campaign is cute.

Concept

MV: ThermaSilk wanted to create something viral. And while the Internet is the best medium for that (ever!), you still need something creative, like a game with a half naked guy, to get the girls going. So, mission accomplished there.

KK: The concept works at getting teen girls to interact with the game to win a prize.

web site

MV: While the concept is targeted at tween and teen girls, the site itself feels a little older than that. Which is not such a bad thing – it gives it a little bit of that older/aspirational thing, which is even more important in fashion and beauty than in other categories. Still, there’s a little bit of a disconnect between concept target

and execution target.

KK: The value-for-effort ratio is right on the money. The prizing could have been better leveraged by bubbling up the prize of the week and reinforcing it throughout the experience. Weekly prizes are great because they drive repeat visits but that concept isn’t highlighted effectively.

media plan

MV: It’s a nice one, with all the usual suspects for embedded advertising (your Habbo Hotels and your Instant Messenger) as well as some good girl-only publications, like Fashion 18. So while some of the media choices were understandably gender neutral (boys watch Much, but you still have to be there), they rounded out the edges quite nicely.

KK: It’s vertically targeted to reach teen girls who are engaged in music, entertainment, fashion and conversation – four strong pillars that perfectly represent teen girl behaviour. It also offers media creativity with the sponsorship of the Habbo Cinema room.

tv

MV: The danger of using an ad like this to send someone to your site is they’ll lose sight of the brand itself, as they try to figure out why the site is so different from the ad that sent them to it. [The spots feature a real guy.]

KK: This quick and dirty approach fits perfectly with the whole MuchMusic scene.

The creds:

Client-ThermaSilk (Unilever): 

Sandra Chiesa, marketing director; Jillian Bauming, brand manager; Shachin Ghelani, assistant brand manager

Agency-Capital C Communications:

Jane Klein, CD; Kjirsten Georgison, AD; Susan James, business leader; Sheri Allain, account supervisor; Julia Kwiecinski, account manager

Capital C Digital: Michael Koly, creative direction; Joe Szabo, copywriter; Amy Shea, AD; Ryan Walton, illustrator & Web design; Rich Lach, architect; John Datseris, director, interactive; Danica Bastidas, project manager

Media-PHD Canada: Suresh Krishnan, strategy account manager; Michael Bolt, VP group account director