American Express OPEN: The Small Business Network
Ogilvy & Mather New York
Financial services provider American Express Co. made a big play for the small business segment in 2002 when it launched a campaign for OPEN: The Small Business Network.
The campaign, created by Ogilvy & Mather New York, demonstrated how the new product provided critical services for small-business owners, including online bill paying, financial dashboards and discounts from OPEN partners such as Dun & Bradstreet and AT&T Corp.
The integrated campaign included television, radio, print, online and direct. Perhaps more important, it used unique product placements to build the brand.
For example, in 2003 American Express sponsored the reality TV show "The Restaurant," showing how chef Rocco DiSpirito opened a new restaurant in New York with the help of the American Express card. The campaign included TV spots, product placements during the program, a Web site and a blog written by DiSpirito.
After seeing success with "The Restaurant," American Express OPEN sponsored the TV show "Blowout," featuring Beverly Hills, Calif., salon owner Jonathan Antin. The show included American Express product placements, and a Web site created by Digitas featured real-life stories of small-business owners, including Antin.
The real success of the campaign was the sense of community it created among small-business owners. On the American Express Web site, small-business owners shared ideas and tips on everything from addressing cash-flow problems to negotiating real estate deals.
The campaign paid off big for American Express. In 2003, following the launch of "The Restaurant," total awareness of the OPEN brand increased by about 70%.
American Express also saw small-business card use grow in the double-digit range between 2003 and 2004.
General Electric Co.
BBDO New York
General Electric Co. faced a huge challenge when it set out to rebrand itself in early 2003.
"We wanted people to know that GE is more than just lighting and appliances," said Judy Hu, global executive director, advertising and brand at GE.
GE wanted its customers, business partners and investors to become more familiar with products it provides that people might not be aware of, such as jet engines, wind power, water technologies and commercial financing.
To accomplish this, GE turned to its ad agency, BBDO New York, and interactive shop, atmosphereBBDO, to create an integrated campaign with the tagline "Imagination at work."
The campaign was launched in January 2003 with TV, print and online ads.
A series of TV spots used humor and innovation to showcase GE’s different businesses. In one memorable ad, a GE jet engine was attached to the Wright Brothers’ airplane. In another, human images formed by water performed a concert on stage to demonstrate the effectiveness of GE Water Technologies.
Print ads provided further insight into GE’s various businesses. Ads featured dramatic photos of products such as a wind turbine, an Evolution locomotive and GE image-guided surgery, while providing information on the nuts and bolts of the products.
The interactive component of the campaign extended the theme of imagination. AtmosphereBBDO created an online ad that took users to a landing page where they could use a virtual pen to draw illustrations, controlling the color of the ink, the background color and the size of the lines.
The "Pen" campaign also had a viral element. When users finished drawing illustrations, they could e-mail them to friends.
The integrated campaign succeeded in changing perceptions about GE.
According to market research conducted one year after the campaign’s launch, perceptions of GE as being "innovative" increased by 35%, perceptions of GE as being "dynamic" increased by 50% and perceptions of GE as offering high-tech solutions increased by 40%.
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
Hewlett-Packard Co., which acquired Compaq Computer Corp. in 2002, introduced an innovative campaign beginning in 2003, using the plus sign symbol to represent the strength of partnerships.
The campaign, developed by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, included both b-to-c and b-to-b components.
The consumer campaign was called "You + HP," and featured brilliant computer-generated images showing how HP’s digital imaging technology can improve lives.
The b-to-b campaign, called "Change + HP," included HP’s first major TV advertising for the enterprise audience, as well as print, online and outdoor. The goal of the campaign was to introduce HP’s Solutions for the Adaptive Enterprise.
"The message to the business audience was ‘love change,’ " said Steve Simpson, partner and creative director at Goodby.
Research with HP’s target audience of IT decision-makers found that while many felt burdened by change, others loved the challenge of change, Simpson said.
The campaign was designed to show how HP can provide solutions for companies that are operating in an environment of change. Tying all the elements together in the campaign was an arrow, suggesting that HP can help its customers move in a positive direction.
In one TV spot, a business executive’s attire changes as he makes his way through an office building that is undergoing rapid changes.
Print ads, also using the arrow image, further explained how HP provides the computing power to help companies "adapt, evolve and change faster than anyone, anywhere and at any time."
In keeping with the change theme, HP used innovative media strategies in the campaign.
For example, one billboard in San Francisco had a headline "Change happens." Every week, agency staff climbed up on the billboard and installed fake ivy on the sign, making it appear to be growing, until only the words remained visible.
Another ad ran on sliding glass doors in airports, with the text "Change happens" on each door. The doors opened and shut to reveal the message.
Ogilvy & Mather New York
In March 2002, Sam Palmisano took over as CEO of IBM Corp., succeeding the legendary Lou Gerstner, who had carried IBM through its transition from a mainframe giant to a customer-centric company focused on technology and services.
To continue IBM’s evolution into a services-focused company, Palmisano created a new vision for IBM called "e-business on demand," focusing on providing products and services to help businesses succeed in a rapidly changing world.
Palmisano unveiled this new vision in a speech to IBM’s top customers and business partners in October 2002. To support the vision, IBM introduced a multimillion-dollar integrated ad campaign created by Ogilvy & Mather New York.
With the tagline "e-business on demand," the campaign included TV, print, online, direct, outdoor and events.
To generate interest in the new marketing message, IBM created a fictitious company called Bagotronics, which it promoted in teaser TV spots and print ads one day before Palmisano’s speech. This bogus company’s products included a magic business time machine, magic server pixie dust and magic business binoculars. The idea was to contrast the hype of many IT vendors during the dot-com era to the reality of IBM’s business solutions.
The following day, Palmisano unveiled IBM’s new vision in a speech at the Museum of Natural History in New York. Posters at the venue stated, "There is no business time machine. There are no magic business binoculars. But there is e-business on demand. From IBM."
IBM also ran an eight-page "manifesto" in The Wall Street Journal and other publications, followed by additional print ads and TV spots.
The campaign continues to evolve, featuring new IBM products and services.
"E-business on demand is our business strategy," said Lisa Baird, VP-worldwide advertising at IBM. "It’s a very good reflection of where we think the industry is headed, which is the ability to harness technology to create on-demand business capabilities for customers."
United Parcel Service of America
Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.
Over nearly 100 years, United Parcel Service of America has evolved from a ground shipping company to one that provides international shipping and logistics, brokerage services, systems integration and supply chain management solutions.
To communicate these changes, UPS launched a rebranding campaign beginning in 2002 with the tagline "What can Brown do for you?" referring to its signature color.
The $46 million campaign, created by the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., was a global integrated marketing effort that included TV, print, radio, online and direct mail.
In addition, UPS introduced a new logo, featuring a streamlined UPS symbol minus the traditional package with a bow, that was painted on delivery trucks and used in all marketing collateral.
The campaign successfully demonstrated the breadth of UPS’ capabilities, from inventory warehousing to e-mail notification and financial services.
In 2003, UPS added four TV spots that focused on supply chain solutions, small-business solutions, shipping and office management.
"It’s absolutely essential that our campaign be integrated, because we have multiple target audiences, from the shipping room to the boardroom," said UPS spokesman Steve Holmes.
For the campaign, UPS zeroed in on four groups: Shipping managers, front office staff, small-business people and senior executives.
"What Brown can do for each one of those four groups is different, so we needed to come up with very different media plans for each," said Barbara Joynes, partner-integrated services at Martin.
UPS also used direct mail in its campaign, promoting UPS services with special offers. For example, if companies increased spending on shipping or added a logistics service, they were rewarded with prizes such as miniature UPS trucks or remote-control Dale Jarrett UPS NASCAR toy cars.
The campaign proved successful for the company’s bottom line. In 2003, overnight volume increased by 9% over 2002, and nonpackage revenue almost doubled to $2.7 billion.