Pitney Bowes, which provides mail and document management services to companies, has not had a major ad campaign since 1998. It's now embarking on an estimated $12 million, five-pronged business-to-business effort-including print advertising, direct marketing, Web site enhancements, event marketing and public relations-that begins by addressing mail security.
The original notion was for Mr. Sinha to create a marketing effort outlining the company's core brand attributes of reliability and dependability. But terrorist attacks and the anthrax scare put other issues at the forefront.
The first part of the campaign now supports Pitney Bowes' initiative to help the industry navigate through unprecedented times by offering a free 24-page booklet entitled, "Mail and Document Security: a Pitney Bowes Advisor."
The booklet was introduced in print ads from WPP Group-owned Ogilvy & Mather's OgilvyOne, New York, earlier this month. The ads, which appeared in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, invite business leaders to visit Pitney Bowes' Web site or call a toll-free number to receive the literature, which focuses on issues like mail security and the restoration of consumer confidence in mail.
An ongoing direct mail push will deliver the booklet to senior executives at Fortune 1000 companies as well as 50,000 to 70,000 sales people.
OgilvyOne, which had been talking with clients about appropriate brand messaging during this national crisis, found that consumers are more receptive to messages from leadership brands. Connecting this research to Pitney Bowes' brand positioning led to the campaign's initial focus.
"Consumers and business leaders are looking to brands for information, and particularly to business-to-business brands for advice and counsel," said Peter DeNunzio, general manager of OgilvyOne, New York. "The whole economic role that the mail system plays in this country and how critical [mail] is for basic commerce has suddenly become front-page news." Pitney Bowes, which has specialized in various aspects of mail security for 80 years, still intends to expand the campaign through next year to highlight other brand assets of the company.
"We still intend to get there. This is the first part of getting there; it served as a transition for us," Mr. Sinha said. "We figured that given the way the country is going right now, everybody is so concerned and worried about mail security given the threats we have seen."
Many major mailers have responded to those potential threats by revisiting already staunch security measures.
Advo, for one, which each week sends out 60 million Shopwise supermarket advertising circulars, last month established a special office of safety and security to focus solely on enhancing safety procedures. Despite the company's strict existing policies-including sorting, shrink-wrapping and delivering its mailer to local post offices independently under the surveillance of a postal inspector-it believes the current environment warrants an increased effort. "We have certainly reprioritized internally and proactively given the environment," said Chris Hutter, Advo's VP-investor relations.