How CDW showcased mobile technology at Cisco Live

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Technology provider CDW wanted to build an integrated marketing campaign to showcase its mobile office solutions—one that would not only yield clicks and impressions but also generate buzz at large events such as Cisco Live. In March the company unveiled a new phase of its “People Who Get IT” campaign, rolling out spots created by Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, in which basketball legend Charles Barkley returns to his role as an employee of fictional company Gordon and Taylor. This new installation is titled “Winning on the Road” and it follows Barkley and his colleagues as they work from a moving vehicle equipped with mobile office solutions powered by CDW. The vehicle, dubbed the Technoliner, is a cross between an RV and a bus, and it appears in print, digital and broadcast venues. In June, the Technoliner (which was built in collaboration with West Coast Customs) also drove onto the trade show floor at Cisco Live, a partner event in Orlando, Fla., attended by 17,000 information technology and communications professionals. “We're looking for completely integrated marketing campaigns from the grass roots on up,” said Jim Mitchel, senior director-marketing at CDW. “We do a lot of events where we touch customers and partners, and we thought there was a better way of leveraging those events.” The Technoliner enjoys an element of celebrity with the IT crowd, first drawing attention with its 180-inch external television screen. At Cisco Live, attendees lined up to enter the bus and explore such partner technology as touch screens, printers and server racks. Proprietary software “captures” interactions as visitors use the touch screens to learn about featured solutions and request information. CDW developed an active social media campaign at the event, running a Twitter feed on the external screen and hosting IT-themed games and a photo competition that encouraged participants to post photos of themselves with stickers carrying the “People who get IT” slogan. The company completed its initial public offering during the event, splashing its new Nasdaq symbol across the big screen. The booth placed an emphasis on entertainment. Attendees exited the Technoliner to an area that featured gaming technology. “Whatever we do, we make sure that it carries the ultimate tech theme throughout the experience,” Mitchel said. The Cisco event marked the first time that CDW took the Technoliner inside. The company had originally reserved a smaller footprint on the floor, Mitchel said, but Cisco made room for a bus that had become the first example of the performance of some of its mobile technology on the road. CDW “captured” almost 5,600 badges during Cisco Live and almost 3,000 unique visitors. “People were coming back to the Technoliner multiple times,” Mitchel said. The company will use the Technoliner at events for a number of years, Mitchel said. The design allows CDW to continually reconfigure the technology onboard. This year the focus will be on existing venues, including sporting and partner events. But the vehicle will also make its way to individual customers' parking lots. “Our ability to have an intimate showing and do it in a way that demonstrates high technology and an understanding of our solutions is a real competitive advantage,” Mitchel said.
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