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Xerox makes big push globally

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Aiming to shift its positioning from a product marketer to more of a services provider, Xerox Corp. last week introduced a global brand campaign called “Ready for Real Business.” The campaign is an extension of Xerox's ongoing “Real Business” effort, although previous ads have been more product-focused, said Xerox CMO Christa Carone. “This is the most significant brand campaign Xerox has launched in a couple of decades,” she said. The multimillion-dollar global effort includes TV, print, online and out-of-home ads, and debuted Sept. 7 in the U.S. and U.K. “The overall objective of the campaign is to start disrupting some legacy perceptions of Xerox in the marketplace and broaden views so that customers and prospects perceive Xerox as being more in the services business,” Carone said. In February, Xerox acquired Affiliated Computer Services, a business process outsourcing company, which tripled its services business, Carone said. “We have really transformed the company so we are not just a technology provider but have a very broad portfolio of services,” she said. “We need to be out in the marketplace in a more vocal and visible way, promoting the new brand of Xerox.” Xerox tapped its agency, Y&R, New York, for the new brand campaign. “Through the acquisition of ACS, Xerox moved more into the services and solutions aspect of the business,” said Tony Granger, chief creative officer at Y&R. “We wanted to create a campaign that would demonstrate the new capabilities and tell new stories.” He said the positioning for “Real Business” had been around for the past two years, and Xerox wanted to evolve the campaign to reflect its broader focus. “What do we mean by "real business'? It is the business you got into in the first place,” Granger said. “Marriott got into the business to look after guests, Target got into the business of fashion, and the New York Mets got into the business of baseball,” he said, citing Xerox customers. “As these companies grew, they had to deal with HR, and finance, and document management and other business processes.” So the agency came up with the idea of showing clients' brand characters trying to handle business processes while conducting their real businesses. For example, ads show Procter & Gamble Co.'s Mr. Clean trying to clean while managing a fleet of multifunction printers; a bellman from Marriott Hotels & Resorts trying to process invoices while managing guest services; and Target's Bullseye dog trying to customize a direct mail program. “It is pretty ambitious,” Carone said. “When Tony and his team brought it to us, they presented three different concepts, and this is the one that certainly resonated with us the most. It is very cut-through in the b-to-b market, which tends to have a more serious tone.” Granger said the agency wanted to use the “tried-and-true” client testimonial approach, with an added twist of using brand icons rather than actual customers in the ads. “Normally, brands are very protective of their icons,” he said. “This shows how great the relationship is between Xerox and their clients. We thought it would be difficult to get clients to let us use their brand icons, but it really wasn't.” The campaign rolled out via four TV spots and print ads running in general news and business publications including Forbes, Fortune, Time and The Wall Street Journal, as well as IT trades such as CIO and CSO. Xerox is also running online ads on companion sites to these publications, as well as a microsite at www.realbusiness.com. “We wanted to build a campaign sitelet that gives you deeper knowledge about what we're doing behind the scenes and what we're doing for our customers,” Carone said. The website features in-depth client testimonials and detailed information about Xerox's outsourcing solutions, including finance, accounting, document management and human resources support. The digital ads and website were created by VML, New York, a unit of Y&R. The brand campaign will run through the end of the year, along with product-based ads. “What we do have in the market and will continue to have in the market is product-based advertising, whose sole purpose is to sell products,” Carone said. “This is a higher-level brand campaign to raise awareness of the Xerox brand.” •
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