AOL Finally Breaks Free

The New York Times: Curtains, a large blue pair to be exact, are the images being used in an estimated $50 million campaign to promote AOL.com as a free Web portal. The campaign, in online and offline versions, depicts computer users parting the curtains to reveal a bright white light on the other side.
AOL_curtains.jpg
“The new AOL.com,” the ads proclaim. “Now open to everyone.”
The campaign has been in development for months, ever since AOL’s parent, Time Warner, decided to shift strategies (again) and offer at no cost much of the content and features that had been available only to subscribers of America Online. The reason is that despite all the elaborate previous changes to the subscription service, paying users continue to flee.
Still, Web sites that are part of AOL, which include Moviefone, Mapquest and Netscape, remain popular destinations with computer users. Their continued appeal is the reason behind the recent talks between Time Warner and other major media companies regarding potential investments in America Online.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.