Name of campaign: “C-suite Studies”
Launch date: July 2009
Creative credits: Group creative director: Vicki Azarian; creative director: Chris Lindau
Why we liked it: This direct mail campaign is a stellar example of content marketing. Building on its “Smarter Planet” effort and with the goal of positioning itself as a thought leader among top executives, IBM Corp. conducted its 2010 C-suite Studies Series, which featured separate CIO, CFO and CEO studies. In all, IBM talked to 6,600 business leaders around the world. To drive registrations for the study, IBM sent top executives a series of mailers that promoted the study. The mailers emphasized the insight the executives could clean from the study. For instance, one mailer asked, “Have you ever wanted another CIO's perspective?” That mailer included a digital recorder with the implication that it could be used to record the wisdom of a fellow CIO. Another mailer included headphones, and an additional mailer included a pen to write down the insights. The visuals have a retro feel (from the late 1960s) and feature silhouettes of men and woman—presumably executives—in a rainbow of colors that seem to exude optimism.