TDK appoints Doner Cardwell Hawkins

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LONDON -- TDK Recording Media Europe is embarking on a new brand-building advertising strategy with the appointment of London-based Doner Cardwell Hawkins to its pan-European account. The W.B. Doner subsidiary snatched the business in a pitch against agencies from several European cities.

The new campaign, which may not air until 1998, will mark the Japanese-owned audio and video tape manufacturer's first significant investment in above- the-line advertising for five years. Motive International, the Bartle Bogle Hegarty subsidiary, will handle strategic media planning.

Last June, TDK Europe pulled out of Euro RSCG Paris over differing views on strategy and service levels. Since then, minimal national advertising has been handled by various, locally appointed agencies.

The need to boost advertising levels and focus on building the TDK brand, rather than promote its individual products, is driven by the change in products from analog to digital, says Marketing Communications Manager Andrew Burrows, based in Luxembourg. "The difference between digital software is so little that it's more difficult to differentiate yourself," he says. "You need a strong brand." Also, there was seen to be little point in spending large ad budgets on analog products that were in the mature stage of their lifecycle. Marketing has recently concentrated much more on price and promotions.

TDK claims to be the brand leader (by sales) in audio and video tapes in Europe. However, "whether we have brand leader status is maybe something that needs to be addressed" in the new advertising, Burrows admits.

Media will include TV and will be a mixture of pan- European and national executions, aimed at "early adopters" aged between 16 and 40.

Doner Cardwell Hawkins was chosen on the basis of its creative idea that made it stand out from the group of pitching agencies, whose strategic approaches were all similar, according to Burrows. It is also an idea that will work for all the company's marketing communications, he says.

Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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