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Knob Creek Wipes Up With 'Napkin Fiction'

Nov 19, 2007

With Web advertising developing the way it has of late—new Facebook ad models, adblocking software, vertical integration networks and other headache-inducing words—banner ads are now passé.

Today it's all about adding value for users, and that's usually in the form of applications. But what kind of user-valued interactive can a luxury brand present that would still guarantee exposure to its target, upper-crust, high culture demo? With its "Napkin Fiction" project, Esquire magazine and distiller Knob Creek have found an answer in more than 100 napkins inscribed with stories by famous writers.

Part of an editorial feature in which the magazine sent 250 napkins to authors requesting that they be returned filled with stories, the napkins are now viewable via a Knob Creek-sponsored Flash application, where site visitors can interact with images of the napkins, exploring the stories inscribed across the fragile paper products. Back-ground elements, such as an oak barrel graphic and Knob Creek tags, tie the whiskey brand to the feature. Online interviews with "Knob Creek Whiskey Professors" give readers a spirited education.

"Because advertisers are funding added functionality to the site, users get a richer experience while being exposed to brands in unique ways," said Chris Johnson, vp-content and bus. development at Esquire parent Hearst Magazines, New York.



Program: "Napkin Fiction"

Marketers: Knob Creek, Deerfield, Ill.; Esquire, New York


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