SOFTWARE AG AMERICAS OUT TO BUILD BRAND IN '98: NEW SHOP MULLEN TO KICK OFF MARCH PRINT CAMPAIGN

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Software AG Americas, split off from its former German parent, is out to build its brand in 1998 with help from ad agency Mullen.

The marketer hired the Wenham, Mass., shop for its $5 million account in late December, following a review against finalists Ingalls Advertising, Boston, and Martin Agency, Richmond, Va. Pile & Co., Boston, was consultant on the eight-week review.

Software AG Americas had been inactive in advertising recently.

German company Software AG spun off Software AG Americas last April to a management and investment group. Software AG now owns just 9.5% of the company.

SPINOFF MARKETER

As an independent company, Software AG Americas still distributes the German marketer's products but also will be able to sell other software and services.

Michael Collins, senior director of marketing at Software AG Americas, said the company considered a name change but concluded it would benefit from association with the German software marketer.

"We just have found that although there's not a lot of brand awareness, there does exist worldwide brand equity in the Software AG name," Mr. Collins said.

Mullen's print campaign will start running in business and computer publications in March.

The marketing challenge is far different from the tech mass marketing of the ubiquitous Zip drives done by Iomega Corp., where Mr. Collins and Timothy Hill, Software AG Americas' VP-marketing, held top marketing posts before moving in August to the new company.

"We've gone from marketing products that sell for $200 to marketing products that sell for $200,000," Mr. Collins said. "But the marketing fundamentals are the same-how you go about targeting your customers, how you go about communicating with them."

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