New Siemens Ad Uses Sound of Wind to Showcase Energy Solutions

Campaign Is Part of Larger Effort to Drive Brand Awareness for Manufacturing Giant

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Siemens Corp. -- the U.S. division of German manufacturing giant Siemens AG -- debuted a new ad campaign last week called "Blue Danube," which harnesses the sound of wind to showcase its wind energy solutions.

The campaign was unveiled at a town anniversary event in Ft. Madison, Iowa, where Siemens has a wind blade manufacturing plant. It includes TV, online videos and print ads, and features real customers and Siemens employees. The budget was undisclosed.

In the TV ad, which was created by Siemens' agency of record Ogilvy & Mather, New York, in partnership with musician Will Bates, the sounds of wind are captured and transformed into a rendition of Johann Strauss' "Blue Danube" symphony. The campaign is part of Siemens' "Answers" campaign, also created by Ogilvy, which launched in 2007.

"Our goal at Siemens, and particularly in the U.S., is to create awareness around how Siemens is making a difference with solutions that benefit customers and society overall, and to create brand familiarity around our target groups," said Bill Stabile, executive director-brand marketing communications at Siemens Corp., in an interview with Ad Age.

"While awareness of Siemens is pretty high, particularly among our target groups, most people do not know what we do," he added.

Siemens targets C-level business executives in industries including energy, manufacturing, healthcare and infrastructure.

"While we are reaching the higher-level business audiences we have defined [with this new campaign], we hope we also create some general awareness that we are doing something very helpful for the economy, for society and for Iowa," Mr. Stabile said.

He noted that until recently, Siemens talked more about the company and what it did in its advertising.

"We view this effort, and others we've done more recently, as more voice-of-the-customer and the ability to get across a real story with real people in a documentary-style fashion," Mr. Stabile said.

Scott Townsend, executive group director of the Siemens business at Ogilvy & Mather, said the agency was looking to tell a new kind of story about wind energy in a realistic way.

"The thing with wind energy is, it's a little bit 'Intel Inside.' When you flip on the switch, you don't necessarily know where the energy is coming from," Mr. Townsend said.

"Every time you see a wind documentary, it always seems to be kites and wind surfers. We wanted to bring a new perspective to life and help people understand how much wind energy is out there and how it's working right now."

The TV spots are filmed using a documentary-style approach to show how Siemens, together with MidAmerica Energy -- which contracted with Siemens to build 448 wind turbines -- are providing a renewable energy source to the people of Iowa and the Midwest.

The TV ads are running on cable and broadcast programs, including "Meet the Press," "Face the Nation" and "Good Morning America." Print ads are running in business publications such as Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Forbes and Fortune. Siemens is also using social media, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to promote the campaign.

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