The Pittsburgh-based agency is airing six 10-second spots on national and spot TV, primarily on late-night news, as part of an estimated $1 million campaign. The ads, which feature only text, music and voices, sell the idea that Ketchum has an aggressive, innovative attitude. One says, "Karl Marx said advertising people are just the maggots that feed off the bloated corpse of capitalism. Let's do lunch."
Ironically, simply advertising its own services makes Ketchum an innovator. Ad agencies tend to advertise their services very little; on TV, such ads are non-existent.
Ketchum is also taking its message to the streets. In cities where it has offices-New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco-the text from the TV spots will appear on T-shirts worn by bicycle messengers.
Using simple b&w text visuals keeps production costs low, so most of the campaign budget can be used to buy media. Ketchum plans to produce six more TV spots.
The agency's parent, Ketchum Communications, had billings of $644 million and gross income of $73 million in 1994.M