TIM ARMSTRONG: AOL Postponed Its $10 Million Ad Campaign Because ‘It Wasn’t Great’

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Although AOL’s $10 million rebranding campaign was slated to launch during Monday Night Football with a dance-filled TV commercial, CEO Tim Armstrong told BI’s Henry Blodget that the premiere has been delayed.”I think it was good,” Armstrong said. “It wasn’t great.”

The commercial — which was supposed to have a Jonah Hill voiceover, feature Armstrong-approved dancers, and be styled by the woman responsible for the “Mo Money Mo Problems” music video — has already made headlines for allegedly causing creative dissension within the company.

Now-former CMO Jolie Hunt was overseeing the brand relaunch. According to Ad Age’s sources, she “didn’t favour the creative direction Mr. Armstrong was pushing for, and that disagreements between the two over the creative process contributed to her exit from the company.”

Armstrong told BI that Hunt’s departure had to do with AOL’s decision to “reduce the corporate cost structure overall” and “move more of the marketing dollars and put it into the brand.”

The delayed ad, made with ad agency McCann, also piqued consumers’ interest when the Wall Street Journal reported that Armstrong was so committed to having dancers around the AOL logo “that he personally attended auditions for the dancers in New York.”

Armstrong clarified that the dancers were in fact AOL consumers. “I went and met a lot of the consumers,” he explained, “and, you know, I’ve spent a lot of time with them.” They had a lot of feedback about the company.

But it appears that the rest of the world will have to wait and see what all of the fuss is about until Q1.

AOL spokesperson Caroline Campbell repeated Armstrong’s line to Ad Age: “Where we are today with the campaign is not great and we want to move it from good to great.”