RealTime IT News

AT&T Sponsors "News of the Weird" toggled Show

AT&T signed on to sponsor a new togglethis Web show, "Xippy Malone, Cub Reporter," the first interactive news reporter on the Internet.

The toggled show is based on the syndicated newspaper column, Chuck Shepherd's "News of the Weird."

Toggled shows are delivered to consumers' desktops via e-mail and combine the visual experience of watching TV with the interactivity of the Web. The show is produced in conjunction with Universal New Media, the interactive arm of Andrews McMeel Universal, and sponsored by AT&T Inter@ctive Communications.

Xippy Malone will deliver "News of the Weird" to consumers' desktops, who will then help Xippy Malone edit headlines by clicking, dragging, pushing and pulling him.

"We see togglethis as an innovative way to use the Internet to introduce more and more people to 'News of the Weird,'" said Nancy Meis of Universal New Media.

Select "News of the Weird" episodes will feature a 45-second toggled advertisement for AT&T's two new Internet services, AT&T Click2Dial Conferencing and AT&T Chat 'N Talk.

AT&T Click2Dial Conferencing allows Internet users to set-up and control their own conference calls with up to seven people at any time, without operator assistance.

AT&T Chat 'N Talk turns an online keyboard chat into an anonymous live phone conversation with as many as seven people in a chat room.

AT&T's toggled spokescharacter--the AT&T Labs Professor--is similar to an interactive cartoon. The consumer can interact with the professor while learning more about the new AT&T services. In other versions of the toggled ad, the professor announces a sweepstakes and directs consumers online to see how to win.

AT&T's toggled advertising campaign also will be broadcast independent of the Xippy Malone show at togglethis, click2dial.att.com/sweeps and at chatntalk.att.com/sweeps.

"We developed a toggled advertising campaign to launch our new products because we believe it is a more effective way to reach consumers than old- fashioned banner campaigns," said J. Todd Allen, director of marketing for AT&T Inter@ctive Communications.

Togglethis was founded in 1996 by Paul Maya and Marc Singer in New York City. Clients include Warner Bros., Disney, Intel, New Line Cinemas, iVillage.com and Launch media.