A&E Viral Push Finds Lost World


To boost awareness for its four-hour movie, The Lost World, A&E
Network has added an Internet-based guerrilla-marketing weapon to the more
typical ones in its promotional arsenal.

Set for Oct. 6 and 7, the two-part primetime movie is based on an Arthur
Conan Doyle novel about explorers' discovery of dinosaurs still living deep in
the Amazon jungle.

Since Labor Day, A&E has been promoting the movie on its Web site with a
Lost World area featuring the line, 'If you found it, would you

That copy line is actually an issue the explorers must address in the

In addition, to heighten the buzz, the programmer has set up three
'underground' Web sites promoting a 'conspiracy theory' that Doyle concealed the
discovery of such a world back in 1911. News articles in the London Times
and The New York Times at the time actually focused on the cover-up

Visitors can link from those unofficial Web areas -- foundworld.net (http://foundworld.net/), challrngerz.com (http://challengerz.com/) and
think-extinct.com (http://think-extinct.com/) -- to
A&E's site.

Those sites were a major component of the viral marketing effort A&E is
putting behind its project. Besides chat-room and message-board infiltration and
inclusion in keyword searches, the network transmitted electronic-mail blasts to
the databases collected at those Web sites.

Other more traditional marketing support, largely concentrated within the
four weeks leading up to the special, have included print, broadcast television
and radio advertising; cinema advertising in the top three major markets; and
out-of-home media.

A tie-in sweepstakes is being plugged on-air and online as well, with a trip
to New Zealand (a key production location for the movie) as the grand prize.

In addition, US Airways Inc. is showing The Making of The Lost World
as a 22-minute in-flight special.

That video also is being used by museums in at least five markets to assist
fund-raising efforts. And an educational-outreach facet is targeting 30,000 high
schools nationwide with a poster contest.

A&E has also set two-hour documentary Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt for
Oct. 8.