Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York
In a challenger campaign as bold as its new yellow and red corporate colors, DHL picked a fight with FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service of America to let U.S. businesses know that it too can deliver.
DHL's integrated campaign takes on two companies known not only for their operational prowess but also for their marketing savvy. Yet DHL proved that it can build a brand in the highly competitive logistics and express delivery category where smart-looking advertising is the norm.
"Competition is the name of the game. We're the new kid on the block," said Karen M. Jones, VP-advertising and brand management for DHL. "The campaign is designed to create awareness for DHL and an understanding that there's now a third choice."
The $150 million branding campaign, which was launched in June and is expected to run through the end of the year, has boosted unaided awareness of the DHL brand by 12%, according to Jones. "We didn't want to come into the market with a whisper, but in a way that would break through," she said. Jones added that the company understood the risks of rattling the cages of the category's dominant companies. "We made sure we had the right message," she said. "There was nothing disparaging about them. We wanted to be sure we were in the right legal framework."
The campaign attempts to grab attention on all promotional fronts. It uses TV, print, PR, direct, online and outdoor. The BtoB Best judges were impressed with how the campaign's simple, focused messages marched consistently forward under DHL's snazzy red and yellow brand colors.
DHL had people seeing red and yellow beyond its promotional campaign. The company, which bought Airborne Express in September 2003, rebranded the Airborne trucks, drop boxes, packaging materials, even driver's uniforms using the color scheme.
DHL was a high-profile advertiser during the Summer Olympic Games, leveraging its role as the official express delivery and logistics provider of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team. The company ran five, 15-second Olympic-themed spots throughout the two-week competition. "It was important for us to align ourselves with the U.S. Olympic team," Jones said. M