NBC Uni brands a bigger iVillage

Campaign links women with daytime talker, Web site

NEW YORK -- NBC Universal's iVillage.com has launched its first branding campaign in more than five years, timed to coincide with this week's premiere of its interactive daytime talk show "iVillage Live," which already has integrated several advertisers in its first few days on the air.

The iVillage TV, print, outdoor and online branding campaign celebrates what it calls those "iVillage moments" that lead women to connect with one another, and turns the word "village" into a verb meaning "to connect" with the slogan "Let's Village."

"If to 'google' is to search, than to 'village' is to connect," iVillage Properties president Deborah Fine said. "It is those female moments of connection that have fueled the success of iVillage over the past 10 years and have kept nearly 17 million women coming back to this Web site in such a robust way. What's exciting about this campaign is it respects our heritage but also moves the brand forward by reflecting women today in the situations and moments where they relate to each other."

The three TV spots created with Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners for the campaign depict a male stranger touching a pregnant woman's belly as he asks her inappropriate questions, a young woman in a comedic exchange with a baker as she tries to convince herself that some breads have fewer carbs than others, and a woman panicking as she struggles to get out of a tight dress in a trendy boutique fitting room. Each of the spots concludes with the women signing on to iVillage.com to share their experiences.

The branding campaign is meant to raise awareness of all iVillage properties, but its timing is designed to help launch "iVillage Live," which airs on NBC owned-and-operated stations, Bravo and iVillageLive.com. The charter sponsors for the show, including Bally Total Fitness, Calphalon, the Estee Lauder Cos., GE Profile Appliances, Goody, Graco, Healthy Choice, Overstock.com, Priceline.com and Unilever, all will participate in on-air segments "to round out the show and offer value to viewers," iVillage said. On the iVillage Live site, viewers will be able to buy the sponsors' products in real time, while also engaged in the program.

This week on the show, Calphalon pans were used in cooking segments, Overstock.com gave online shopping tips and Estee Lauder's Pleasures fragrance was featured in a segment about buying perfume as a holiday gift. "IVillage Live" sponsors buy ads on the show and also pay integration fees.