The company synonymous with "photocopying" wants its customers to know it does much more -- and is bringing back an icon from its past to point the way to the future.
Xerox is introducing a new tagline and ad campaign today, its first since officially spinning off its service operations business, by reviving its most famed ad character, Brother Dominic.
The new tagline, "Set the page free," is a clear head nod to the company's heritage, said Barbara Basney, global brand VP-advertising and media at Xerox.
"'Set the page free' transcends a printed page, transcends a digital page and it encompases things that you may not have top of mind," Ms. Basney said. "We feel as though setting the page free gives us that permission to live in both an analog and digital world."
And who better to illustrate the seamlessness of those worlds than Brother Dominic?
The new campaign and tagline were created in collaboration with agency of record Y&R, New York and reaches back 40 years to borrow elements from Xerox's award-winning 1977 Super Bowl commercial, "Xerox Monks," created at the time by Needham, Harper & Steers.
Back then, "Xerox Monks" showed the world the latest in cutting-edge technology: a "duplicating system" that could photocopy two pages per second. The spot tasked "Brother Dominic" with creating 500 copies of a scripture for his boss, Brother Abbott. The spot won nearly every advertising award in the book, and currently sits in the Clio Hall of Fame. The original spot is below:
In the new commercial, Brother Dominic is tasked with a more formidable challenge: creating 500 copies that are translated in 35 different languages, personalized and shared across all seven continents.
What soon follows is a remarkable accomplishment in technology, as the cleric effortlessly uses his keycard to print copies of the scripture on mugs, paper and send it off digitally, too.
"We need to dial up awareness and understanding on a lot of the things we can do," Ms. Basney said. "We can now translate and print in 35 different languages instantaneously. We have intelligent packaging and it can communicate to someone whether the temperature changed and if that could jeopardize the product. We do object printing and you see that in the Brother Dominic spot with the mug."
"Xerox has a lot of awareness, but we see that deeper understanding about what Xerox is as a great opportunity," she added.
Ms. Basney said Xerox will run the campaign on digital channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as well as TV. The century-old company is aiming to target its core audience of both small and large businesses.
Xerox officially spun off its business services division, now also a publicly traded company dubbed Conduent, this week. The company celebrated the split and new campaign by having three people dressed like monks roam the New York Stock Exchange on its first day of trading.