Marketing Campaign Case Studies

Saturday, August 23, 2008


One of the most successful brands in the history of the United States, Eastman Kodak Company, whose founder had invented popular photography in the 1880s, was slipping as it entered the twenty-first century. Although it was a pioneer in the development of digital photography, Kodak had continued to focus on its highly profitable film products, conceding much of the digital-photography market to a host of competitors. Realizing it was falling behind, the company in 2003 decided to concentrate on its digital lines. To promote Kodak’s easy-to-use printing systems—which were available through either self-service kiosks or camera docks that connected to a personal computer—Kodak and its advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, launched a campaign in 2004 titled ‘‘The Best Part of Photography Is the Prints.’’ The campaign’s print and television advertisements played off the question ‘‘Where are my pictures?’’—touching upon the frustrations many digital-camera users encountered when trying to get hard copies of the photos they had taken. The commercials targeted women, who, according to market research, took the vast majority of family pictures and maintained the family photo albums. The ‘‘Best Part of Photography Is the Prints’’ campaign won a 2005 EFFIE award and helped Kodak to increase the sales of its digital lines. But as the sale of traditional film products eroded further, the company continued to struggle financially. In the hopes of reestablishing its prominent position in the shifting photography marketplace, the company in 2005 replaced the campaign with a new marketing effort promoting Kodak’s cuttingedge digital cameras.

Kodak had essentially invented the amateur photography industry in the 1880s, when bank clerk George Eastman founded the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company and introduced the first Kodak brand camera. From the start the company proved to be a savvy marketer, as evidenced by its initial slogan, ‘‘You press the button—we do the rest.’’ While Kodak made money from the sale of cameras and especially from its film, over the decades the company wisely associated itself with the picture-taking process and lifestyle rather than with the merchandise—which included many innovative items, such as the $1 Brownie camera in 1900 (with film costing 15 cents a roll), the world’s first true color negative film in 1942, and the Instamatic camera in 1963. Kodak embraced television advertising early on, establishing fruitful relationships with television stars such as Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, variety show host Ed Sullivan, and sitcom actor Dick Van Dyke. The company later employed campaigns urging consumers to put ‘‘open me first’’ cards on Christmas presents containing Kodak cameras so that pictures could be taken when the rest of the presents were opened. Kodak’s marketing triumphs peaked in the early 1990s, when it tapped into the vernacular phrase ‘‘Kodak moment’’ to promote its cameras and film. But with the rise of digital photography people began to seriously question whether Kodak’s moment had come and gone.
Ironically, although Kodak was a pioneer in digital camera technology, garnering a number of key patents, the general public was mostly unaware of these accomplishments. The company, failing to anticipate how quickly digital technology would surpass traditional cameras and film, allowed a number of companies, some with no association with cameras at all, to stake significant claims in the growing new market.
In the mid-1990s Kodak dropped its longtime advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson Company, in favor of Ogilvy & Mather and attempted a corporate makeover to appeal to younger consumers. But Kodak still gave short shrift to digital photography by continuing to emphasize traditional photography and film, especially in China and in developing countries in Eastern Europe. Revenues began to erode, declining four years in a row by 2003, and the price of Kodak stock followed suit. The company found itself at a crossroads: it could either remain in the high-profit-margin film business or fully commit to digital technology, where margins were lower and, like those of all high-tech electronics, dropping. To complicate matters, Kodak lacked the reputation in digital it had enjoyed for so many years in traditional photography.
In September 2003 the company announced it was casting its lot with digital technology. Money that had gone to promoting the film business in developed markets would instead be directed toward selling such technologies as ink-jet printers and high-end digital printing. A large number of digital-camera users were not making prints of their photographs, but Kodak believed that eventually they would see the value of having hard copies. Sensing an opportunity, the company decided to emphasize its kiosk printers and home-printing camera docks, which became the focal point of the campaign, titled ‘‘The Best Part of Photography Is the Prints.’’ In a larger sense, however, Kodak wanted to position itself as a player in the entire digital process, from capturing the image to outputting it.

While in general Kodak’s ‘‘Best Part of Photography Is the Prints’’ campaign was aimed at all digital-camera users, the company had a more specific target in mind: wives and mothers. Kodak research had revealed that 70 to 80 percent of family pictures were taken by women. Moreover women were generally the keepers of family memories and maintained the photo albums. It was with women in mind that the company had earlier introduced its EasyShare system, which included a camera, software, and an easy-to-use dock for transferring pictures to a computer. Later it offered an EasyShare printer dock, which allowed photos to be printed straight from a camera, without using a computer. The company said that women generally placed the printer dock in the kitchen and often took it with them as a party printer. But as Carl E. Gustin, Jr., Kodak’s chief marketing officer, explained to Claudia H. Deutsch of the New York Times, the company also realized that the target customer would want a printing option that did not involve owning a home ink-jet printer. He stated, ‘‘So if digital photography and printing is going to be a truly mass phenomenon, then self-service retail has to be a big part of it.’’ Thus promoting Kodak’s kiosks at retail stores was also a priority for the company and the new marketing campaign.
According to Beth Snyder Bulik, writing for Advertising Age, the target audience was ‘‘women, ranging from teens to grandmothers.’’ Because consumers in the younger demographic tended to E-mail pictures to one another and to view Kodak as a stodgy brand, the company had decided not to pursue this group aggressively. Nevertheless Kodak also hoped to begin connecting with young people by promoting its cutting-edge technology. For example, Kodak possessed high-definition OLED (organic lightemitting diode) display technology, which allowed for thinner cameras and mobile phones with picture-taking capabilities. The company was optimistic that when techsavvy members of the younger generation began to realize the implications of this and other Kodak innovations, they would begin to change their view of the brand.

Kodak faced competition in the digital arena on a number of fronts. Its digital cameras competed against established camera companies, such as Canon, Fuji, Minolta, and Olympus, but also against newcomers, such as Hewlett-Packard, LG Electronics, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony. All of the latter group had arrived in the photography market via their successes in digital technology and had the deep pockets to support aggressive marketing campaigns. On the home-printing front Kodak’s main competitor was market leader Hewlett-Packard (although Kodak led in the sale of the ink-jet paper on which digital photos were printed).
Digital pictures that were saved on memory cards and CDs could also be dropped off like film rolls at a local photo shop or drugstore counter for processing, but increasingly consumers were turning to do-it-yourself digital-photo kiosks where pictures could be selected, edited, and printed on the spot. It was in this category that Kodak was able to leverage its brand to establish itself as a major player in the digital-photography industry. It forged alliances with drugstore chains, such as CVS in the United States and Boots in the United Kingdom, and with superstores, such as Wal-Mart and Target. Nevertheless kiosks remained a competitive sector, the direct competition coming from the likes of Polaroid, Olympus, PMI/KIS, IBM, Mitsubishi, Sony, and a host of smaller companies.

Kodak continued to follow its century-long strategy of playing up the lifestyle of taking pictures rather than the cameras or film themselves. The difference was that digital products were made the priority, and Kodak allocated the necessary resources to promote them. According to TNS Media Intelligence, out of the $109 million Kodak spent in 2004 on measured media (that is, TV, radio, and print), $71 million was devoted to digital cameras, home-printing solutions, and selfservice kiosks. The thrust of the ‘‘Best Part of Photography Is the Prints’’ campaign, composed of both television and print elements, was on ease of use, in particular in printing digital photos. This was a market, unlike digital cameras, where Kodak could truly use the strength of its brand to its advantage. In a three-month companion campaign developed by HSR Business to Business, Cincinnati, the Kodak Professional unit promoted its line of digital-photo printers through print ads aimed at professional photographers.
Nicola Bell, worldwide executive group director at Ogilvy & Mather, told Claudia H. Deutsch of the New York Times, ‘‘Our research shows that even people who love their digital cameras are still frustrated about how to get prints.’’ The strategy of the new television spots was relatively straightforward. ‘‘We have to position the kiosks as friendly little machines that guarantee good, long-lived pictures,’’ Bell explained.
Writing for Advertising Age, Beth Snyder Bulik maintained that the strategy of the new campaign could be encapsulated in the question asked in each ad: ‘‘Where are my pictures?’’ She interviewed Pierre Schaeffer, Kodak’s vice president and director of business strategy and marketing services, who said that many people could relate to the catchphrase, adding, ‘‘There has been a brainwashing in digital cameras that suggests you need to be a computer expert. We try to break that image . . .’ You press a button, we do the rest. We’re the experts in photography, you don’t have to be.’ ’’ The ‘‘Best Part of Photography Is the Prints’’ campaign broke in late May 2004. In the new TV spots Kodak customers talked about how they loved digital photography but lamented the fact that they never actually got their photos printed. One commercial featured the EasyShare digital camera and printer dock. Another promoted the picture maker kiosk. In the International Herald Tribune, Deutsch described the commercials as featuring ‘‘a panoply of people—young and old, male and female, black and white and Asian—professing love for their digital cameras. Then it pans to one young man crying plaintively, ‘Where are my pictures?’ The answer, of course, is readily at hand—if he would only go to his local self-service kiosk and make them.’’ Other TV spots focused on consumers using the EasyShare printer dock at home.
The campaign’s print ads also divided their focus between the self-service kiosks and the easy-to-use home printer dock. Other aspects of the campaign included monthly educational E-mail newsletters, a holiday mailing, and booths at NASCAR races.

Kodak’s Schaeffer told Advertising Age that the different elements of the company’s ‘‘Best Part of Photography Is the Prints’’ campaign ‘‘all paid off big-time.’’ Kodak gained U.S. market share on Sony, improving from 15.3 to 18.3 percent in the first half of 2004. On the kiosk side of the business, Kodak was enjoying tremendous growth, due in large measure to advertising and to the distribution of Kodak kiosks throughout the marketplace. Not to be discounted, however, was the quality of the product, which ranked at or near the top of the three different categories defined by the Digital Imaging Marketing Association: stand-alone units, kiosks linked to remote printing equipment, and combination kiosks that could either print locally or send files to a remote digital-photo minilab for development. Also of great importance was that an increasing number of people were turning to kiosks for their prints. According to market research about 39 percent of digital-camera users tried kiosks in 2004 compared with 28 percent in 2003. The campaign also garnered recognition for Ogilvy & Mather, which won a bronze in the Consumer Electronics category at the 2005 EFFIE Awards, given out annually by the New York American Marketing Association in recognition of the year’s most effective advertising campaigns. Kodak made strides in positioning itself in the digital marketplace in 2004, and its digital sales were growing at a strong clip, but the traditional film business was slipping even faster than expected, putting additional pressure on Kodak’s marketers to promote the digital lines to make up for shrinking film sales. In the first quarter of 2005 Kodak generated sales of $2.83 billion, down from the $2.92 billion it had reported for the same period a year earlier. In the second quarter the company suffered a net loss of $143 million. Ogilvy & Mather’s next major market effort, launched in 2005, pursued the theme ‘‘Keep it forever. Keep it Kodak,’’ another attempt to retain Kodak’s connection to the past while portraying the company as an innovator. In addition Kodak was undergoing a large makeover that ranged from revamping product design and styling to updating operating systems.


Eastman Kodak Company ran one of the largest advertising campaigns in its history to publicize the Advanced Photo System (APS), a new type of camera, film, and related products developed jointly by Kodak and a number of competitors. Kodak’s APS cameras were designed primarily to make photography easier for the snapshooter, the consumer who took pictures to remember birthdays and other such occasions.
Because the public was still confused about APS after an initial marketing campaign in 1996, the company hired ad agency Ogilvy & Mather of New York to design new advertising for 1997 to explain the advantages of APS products. These commercials ran until they were replaced by the next phase of APS promotions, which began in the summer of 1998. Kodak spent far more than its competitors to promote APS, which helped consumers equate APS with Advantix, the Kodak brand of APS products. The 1997 ‘‘Advantix’’ television campaign ran in two stages. The first was a spot that asked, ‘‘Can your camera do this?’’ and then explained three of an Advantix camera’s innovative features; drop-in film loading, choice of three picture sizes, and an index print. The second stage consisted of three humorous scenarios, one for each special feature of the Advantix system, which showed photographers experiencing problems they could have avoided if they had used APS. One spot, for example, showed an elderly woman who had fulfilled her lifelong dream of having her picture taken in front of the Eiffel Tower. When she had the pictures developed, she was horrified to see that the photographer had cropped off most of her head so that the tower would fit into the picture. The ad concluded, ‘‘She should’ve had a Kodak Advantix camera with three picture sizes for better pictures.’’
The campaign also included print advertisements that illustrated the three distinctive features of APS products. Each ad displayed color photographs against a Kodak yellow background and was accompanied by a brief explanation of one of the features and of Kodak’s general corporate signature, ‘‘Take Pictures. Further.’’

In helping to develop the Advanced Photo System to make photography easier for the average consumer, Kodak was staying true to its roots. The company had been founded in 1888 on the slogan ‘‘You push the button, we do the rest.’’ Kodak had a history of introducing new products, including photographic equipment and supplies, projectors, and copiers. In 1997 Kodak was a multinational corporation with nearly 100,000 employees, one of the 25 largest companies in the United States. The ‘‘Tall Tales’’ commercials ran in the same year as the first ads to promote the new Advantix camera. The initial campaign, launched in February 1996, was designed by J. Walter Thompson, which had been Kodak’s primary ad agency for more than 60 years. The commercials opened with the customary Kodak moment, as when a bearded hippie admired a spectacular mountain vista and commented, ‘‘Some people see mountains. I see personalities.’’ After the point had been made that every photographer captured pictures from a unique point of view, the voice-over said, ‘‘Now Kodak introduces a new technology that will let you take those pictures further than you’ve ever imagined.’’ The commercial concluded by summarizing the three innovative features of APS cameras and film.
In 1997, when J. Walter Thompson was replaced by Ogilvy & Mather, the ‘‘Advantix’’ campaign began. Kodak had invested a great deal of money in researching and developing APS, and it allocated $100 million to promote Advantix products worldwide.

Kodak believed that its core customers would take more pictures of a broader range of subjects if they were provided with cameras, film, and other merchandise that would make photography easier. The company wanted to attract new customers but was primarily interested in appealing to those who were already familiar with its products. A large percentage of Kodak’s customers were mothers who took pictures during birthday parties, holiday celebrations, vacations, and other family occasions. Kodak’s previous advertising had focused on this type of situation, but as its customers became more adept at photography, the company’s commercials featured a wider variety of possibilities.
Although many customers had learned how to use the more complex 35-mm equipment that had been their best option before the advent of the Advanced Photo System, they were not particularly interested in creating professional-looking photographs. Instead, they wanted convenient equipment that was easy to use and would produce pictures of good quality. It was thought that they would appreciate the compact size of the Advantix cameras, the ‘‘foolproof’’ drop-in loading that would help them avoid frustrating mechanical problems, and the choice of three picture sizes for each shot. In addition, they would welcome the index print, which, like a proof sheet, showed miniature replicas of each shot on the roll of film. The index print would allow users to see what they were getting when they ordered reprints without having to deal with negatives. The marketing campaign pointed out each of these advantages in a simple way that could be grasped by watching a 30-second television commercial or by reading a few sentences in a print ad.

Each of the five companies—Kodak, Canon U.S.A., Minolta, Nikon, and Fuji Photo Film U.S.A.—that cooperated in developing the Advanced Photo System had its own brand of APS products, and they were designed to meet the needs of somewhat different target markets. In general, all provided the three basic APS features, and Fuji also introduced a line of APS film. Kodak’s Advantix camera tended to be slightly less expensive than some of the other APS brands and was generally easier for snapshooters to use. Consumers did not have the option of changing lenses with the Advantix camera, but it did have a built-in zoom lens. In contrast, one of Canon’s four APS cameras, the EOS IX, was designed to accept more than 50 lenses and hundreds of accessories. The company also introduced the credit card-size ELPH, the world’s smallest shutter camera with a 2x zoom lens. The ELPH had several sophisticated features, including an active autofocusing mode that used an infrared emitter and sensor and a passive mode that could discern variations in contrast. Another model, the Canon ELPH 490Z, featured a 4x zoom lens. In television commercials a woman with an elfin air about her inquired, ‘‘Have you seen the ELPH?’’ as a series of ultracompact cameras floated past. The ads ended with the tag line ‘‘It’s so advanced . . . it’s simple.’’ Another Canon slogan said, ‘‘ELPH: the big name in the Advanced Photo System.’’
During 1997 Fuji offered rebates of up to $15 to develop and print a roll of its Fujicolor SmartFilm when customers purchased certain Fujifilm Endeavor APS cameras. To publicize the rebates, the company ran a full-page ad in USA Today and other ads in 15 key markets. The campaign was launched in September 1997 to coincide with holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. In addition to promotional efforts for its APS films, Fuji expanded its network of photographic laboratories in Europe and the United States and offered digital imaging services. Fuji’s net sales increased 12 percent in 1997.
Minolta and Nikon also advertised their cameras and accessories, but Kodak spent far more to publicize APS than did all the other companies combined. In addition to its ‘‘Advantix’’ campaigns, Kodak participated in co-op ads with the other companies to educate the public about APS.
Kodak’s $100 million budget to advertise Advantix products amounted to about 85 percent of the total all five companies spent to publicize APS products in 1997. Fuji initially allocated about $13 million, twice its previous ad budget, to promote its SmartFilm brand. Minolta allocated $10 million, about 150 percent of its previous ad budget, to promote its Vectis brand of APS products. Kodak’s total spending on advertising in 1994, just before APS was introduced, was $65.4 million. In 1997 the company budgeted about $60 million for advertising Advantix in the United States alone.

At the end of the 1996 campaign introducing the Advanced Photo System equipment and film, consumers still seem confused. As a result, Ogilvy & Mather introduced the ‘‘Can Your Camera Do This?’’ spot. The 1997 round of ads was intended primarily to promote the Advantix brand and only secondarily APS. The challenge was to communicate the basics of a new, complex technology in print ads and television commercials. In April 1997 Kodak began airing television ads that asked, ‘‘Can your camera do this?’’ They stressed the three features of Advantix cameras—drop-in film loading, the choice of three picture sizes, and an index print. This first phase of the campaign was designed to explain the functional benefits of APS.
The next series of television ads were humorous, depicting common problems that photographers could eliminate by using Advantix products. The print ads gave more details. For example, one television spot showed a couple who were having a reprint made so that they could enter the photo in a cute-baby contest but who chose the wrong negative and inadvertently submitted a picture of a chubby grown-up. The commercial ended with the line ‘‘They should’ve had the Kodak Advantix system with an index print so you can see what you’re ordering.’’ The corresponding print ad showed an example of an index print and included explanatory text:
‘‘Choosing your favorite smile is a lot easier when you can actually see the smile. When Kodak Advantix film is processed, your pictures come back with the negatives in their original film cassette and with an index print that gives you a miniature version of every shot. Ordering reprints is easy, and you can get them in any of the three sizes. So no more squinting at negatives, trying to tell a grimace from a grin.’’
The broadcast ads were aired on network, cable, and syndicated television programs, particularly during the Academy Awards and the coverage of the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. In addition to the United States, they ran in the United Kingdom and in other countries. In non-U.S. markets the ‘‘Can your camera do this?’’ spots were shown more often than the humorous ads. The print ads ran primarily in consumer magazines in the United States. Some appeared in publications that focused on new parents and travel so as to reach readers who were likely to be taking more than the average number of photographs. The ads also appeared in generalinterest magazines and in various other publications. The ads highlighting the three features of the Advantix camera ran into the summer of 1998, when the next stage of the promotion began. Kodak’s promotion of Advantix products and APS had been designed to encompass several years, allowing the company to expand gradually on the basic message.

Kodak and Ogilvy & Mather analyzed the public’s reaction to the campaign and found that it scored high on every positive indicator. When asked to tell what they recalled about the advertisements, people were able to repeat the words almost exactly. One of the spots was included on Adweek ’s list of the best ads of 1997. During 1997 Kodak saw strong growth for its other merchandise as well, in part because of the promotion of such products as Max film and Goldfilm.


After experiencing years of success in Europe, the highpriced, British-made Dyson vacuum began appearing in the United States in 2002 during a time of recession and a waning U.S. vacuum industry. Nevertheless James Dyson—the vacuum’s creator and Dyson Ltd.’s president and spokesman—stood resolute that his filterless, bagless vacuum would succeed stateside. Awarded Dyson’s advertising budget in 2002, the ad agency Fallon Worldwide launched the ‘‘Doesn’t Lose Suction’’ campaign to tote Dyson’s superior technology in an industry that, according to Dyson, needed improvement.
With a $14.4 million budget, Fallon released ‘‘Doesn’t Lose Suction’’ across television and print during the second week of October 2003. James Dyson appeared in some 30-second television spots while only providing the voice-overs for others. In the first spot James Dyson soberly explained the shortcomings of traditional vacuums, specifically, the clogging of their filters and bags. He then admitted to spending 14 years developing a vacuum that used centrifuge technology to spin the dirt out of air at 100,000 times the force of gravity. Dyson vacuums were easy to empty, never clogged, and boasted more suction power than traditional vacuums. The spot ended with a black-background shot of the new Dyson vacuum.
Soon after the campaign’s release Dyson vaulted past its competitors and went from a zero percent market share to being America’s top-selling vacuum in 2005. The success of Dyson vacuums, which retailed between $399 and $550, actually increased the entire vacuum industry’s price tags, which had previously averaged $95 to $125. ‘‘Our goal is to completely change the way vacuums are marketed in the U.S.,’’ Doug Kellam, president of Dyson, Chicago (the company’s U.S. headquarters), told Advertising Age. Dyson’s marketing involved blatantly stating its technical advantages over the competition and then unflinchingly attaching an exorbitant price tag. Besides increasing Dyson’s sales the campaign also snagged a silver EFFIE advertising award in 2005.

In 1970, while studying at the Royal College of Art, the inventor and designer James Dyson released his first creation, the Sea Truck. His subsequent inventions included a wheelbarrow and a boat ramp that used inflatable balls instead of wheels. He started working on a bagless vacuum cleaner in 1978. Before Dyson decided to market the revolutionary vacuum himself, he approached the Hoover Company in the 1980s with his bagless, filterless vacuum idea. ‘‘Hoover wouldn’t give it the time of day. They said: ‘Bags are best. Bags will always be best.’ Then they copied it,’’ the inventor said in The Story of Dyson, a booklet included with every Dyson vacuum. James Dyson spent 14 years perfecting his vacuum. It used centrifugal force to keep dirt spinning along the inner cylinder’s insides while the suction chamber remained unobstructed. The effect was similar to that of a tornado. The first Dyson model, the Dyson Cyclone, was released in the United Kingdom in 1993. The company put almost all profit back into development over the next 12 years, expanding Dyson’s team from 3 scientists to 350. In an interview with Advertising Age, Dyson’s global marketing director, Clare Mullin, reiterated the company’s commitment to development, saying, ‘‘We’re an engineering-led company, not a marketing-led company.’’ Most of Dyson’s European success was attributed to word of mouth. Many analysts believed Dyson vacuums would flop in America. When the product arrived in 2002, the United States was in a recession, and analysts doubted that consumers would be able to justify spending $429.99 on a vacuum. James Dyson disagreed. Speaking to the Times of London, he explained, ‘‘Vacuum cleaners are quite recession-proof because people retrench back into the home. If you look back historically, the sales don’t drop at the time of recession.’’ As evidence he mentioned Dyson’s strong sales during the United Kingdom’s recession in 1993.
According to the Times of London, the company decided to use Fallon as its ad agency because, in the words of James Dyson, ‘‘We liked the style, they are educational.’’ Believing that Americans would be drawn to Dyson’s technology, Fallon crafted Dyson spots to be instructive. Dyson further explained, ‘‘Our ads are never funny, they are almost boring. I think vacuuming is serious and I don’t think it’s something to joke about.’’ By mid-2005 Dyson and Fallon, citing strategic differences, had discontinued their relationship.

‘‘Doesn’t Lose Suction’’ targeted 30- to 40-year-olds along with a subgroup of allergy sufferers and pet owners. With the latter in mind, Dyson promoted its vacuums at dog and cat shows. One of the product’s technological advantages over bag or filter vacuums was its ability to collect fine dust and ash without the particles affecting vacuum suction. ‘‘Suction to consumers is very important, and Dyson as a marketer claimed something that resonated with consumers,’’ Bill McLaughlin, executive editor at HomeWorld Business Magazine, told Advertising Age. Dyson had reportedly spent very little on advertising in Europe, where raves about the vacuum’s advantages were spread by word of mouth. But the company took a different approach to America because, as the Times of London stated, ‘‘the US is too big a place to rely on conversations over the garden fence.’’ At the end of 2003 Dyson aired television spots across major American network and cable channels. ‘‘It’s mad for us not to have been here. If we are just half as successful as we have been in Britain, we’ll be selling 3.5 million vacuum cleaners,’’ James Dyson told the Times of London. Before Americans could even buy the vacuum, skeptics claimed that Dyson’s price tag would deter consumers. ‘‘Dyson is a leading brand in Europe at those high prices, but the American consumer’s mentality is price, price, price,’’ Gerry Beatty, a senior editor at Home Furnishings News, told Advertising Age. Dyson vacuums arrived first in American specialty stores and then in Target stores. As the brand’s popularity blossomed, its vacuums were sold by Best Buy, Home Depot, and Linens ‘N Things. Reflecting upon Dyson’s success, Norman Axelrod, chairman and CEO of Linens ‘N Things, explained to Advertising Age, ‘‘[The Dyson vacuum] becomes our best seller simply because there is something new and something exciting about it, so there is not a resistance to price points.’’

When Dyson vacuums first appeared in America in 2002, the Hoover brand, owned by the Maytag Corporation, was leading the American vacuum industry with a 25 percent market share. After an incredible twoyear spurt, Dyson knocked Hoover down to a 16 percent market share and claimed 21 percent. Hoover tried scrambling back by releasing vacuums outfitted with the Fusion Cyclonic Filtration System, a technology modeled after Dyson’s vacuums. By 2005 Hoover was spending $47 million on advertising with its new, Dyson-like tagline, ‘‘No Loss of Suction.’’ Hoover also released a vacuum model, called WindTunnel, that boasted 56 percent more suction than Dyson. The claim appeared in Hoover’s television spots, which were created by Element 79 Partners.
The Louisiana-based Oreck Corporation, manufacturer of upright and canister vacuums, took Dyson to court in 2005 after claiming Dyson’s ‘‘Doesn’t Lose Suction’’ tagline was ‘‘literally false.’’ Dyson countersued with a similar accusation about Oreck’s tagline ‘‘Maintains Suction Power.’’ Oreck’s main advertising push used infomercials and direct mailers, but the company occasionally aired television spots starring David Oreck, the company’s founder and spokesperson, on cable and broadcast TV. One 30-second spot in 2005 showed him outfitted as a magician, asking, ‘‘Want to make your pet hair magically disappear?’’ The spot then cut to David Oreck promising that an Oreck vacuum could ‘‘clean every rug in your home,’’ while his toupee fluttered from vacuum suction. The spot ended with an owl clinging to the end of his Oreck XL broom. Advertising Age reported that David Oreck venomously attributed Dyson’s success to the ‘‘superior advertising of an inferior machine.’’

‘‘Doesn’t Lose Suction’’ spots first aired in October 2003 on network and cable channels such as A&E, Lifetime, HGTV, and TLC. To reach the company’s 30- to 40-year-old target market, print ads appeared in conscientious magazines such as Metropolitan Home, Parenting, and O: The Oprah Magazine. Print ads, like the television spots, dwelled on product innovation. One ad read, ‘‘While everyone else was fiddling with headlights or stiffer bristles, someone went and reinvented the whole machine.’’
Initial television spots for the campaign featured either James Dyson or his voice-over convincingly explaining his vacuum’s advantages. The campaign’s second spot started with the camera panning across sad-looking vacuums from the competition. James Dyson’s steady British voice began, ‘‘Ever since the vacuum cleaner was invented, it’s had a basic design flaw. Bags, filters: they all clog with dust and then lose suction. The technology simply doesn’t work.’’ The camera then stopped on Dyson standing, literally, behind his product. He continued, ‘‘So I spent 14 years developing one that does. The Dyson Cyclones create 100,000 times the force of gravity to spin the dirt out of the air. So nothing gets clogged—ever.’’
The ‘‘Doesn’t Lose Suction’’ campaign employed promotions outside traditional vacuum-industry mediums. Dyson’s DC11 canister vacuum appeared in a window display at the upscale department store Barney’s New York. As part of Fallon’s strategy to target pet owners, Dyson vacuums were given away in competitors’ goody bags at the Westminster Dog Show. Similar to what Dyson’s brand had experienced in Europe, people in the United States were talking about their Dyson vacuums. Mullin told Advertising Age that all economic groups were ‘‘buying it literally because of the performance of the vacuum cleaner.’’ The clear shell and different shape of the Dyson vacuum warranted its exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Science Museum in London, and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. In developing the campaign Fallon was challenged to deviate outside traditional vacuum advertising, which included direct mailers and huckster-style television spots. ‘‘We knew from the beginning what we didn’t want,’’ Michael Hart, copywriter and group creative director at Fallon, told Brandweek. ‘‘No dancing moms vacuuming. No long-haired cats shedding in the background. No bowling balls being sucked up. Just the vacuum, the man who invented it and why it’s better.’’ Dyson increased measured media spending from $755,200 in 2002 to $14.4 million by 2003. In 2004 Dyson continued increasing its advertising budget, bringing the sum to $16.1 million in the first seven months. During the ‘‘Doesn’t Lose Suction’’ campaign Dyson released new models, such as the DC15, a machine that employed an inflatable ball for a more agile wheelbase. James Dyson continued providing the voice-overs for the DC15 spots. ‘‘James does a very good job of being himself on camera,’’ Mike Gibbs, group creative director at Fallon, told Advertising Age.

Defying industry analysts, excelling from zero U.S. market share to U.S. market leader in three years, and revolutionizing one of the world’s most popular appliances, Dyson underwent an incredible amount of growth during its ‘‘Doesn’t Lose Suction’’ campaign. ‘‘They have a radically different thing going . . . It’s a great new brand,’’ David Lubars, president and executive creative director at Fallon, told Adweek. The campaign also earned a silver EFFIE award in the Household Furnishings and Appliances category in 2005.
Many critics praised the campaign for its frank, confident delivery, which portrayed James Dyson as a man so moved by his own invention that he himself believed Americans would be compelled to buy it after hearing his explanation. The approach, according to Dyson, not only worked but also prodded the entire vacuum industry to improve hardware and advertising. David Oreck, the founder of Dyson’s fierce competitor Oreck, agreed with this assessment, telling Advertising Age that Dyson’s strategy of focusing on its vacuums’ technology instead of on price points had helped America’s vacuum industry to undergo a ‘‘constructive’’ change.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


When launched its website in 1999, the competitors in the online-drugstore segment were primarily a site introduced that year by CVS, a traditional ‘‘brick-and-mortar’’ drugstore, as well as several ‘‘pure-play’’ Internet retailers (those with online stores only), including and By 2000 and had closed their sites, drugstore giant Walgreens had introduced an online presence, and was growing, with reported revenues of $34.8 million its first year and nearly 724,000 unique visitors to its site in one month (February 2000). To drive business during its first year, spent $28.5 million on advertising created by ad agency McCann-Erickson. Despite its marketing efforts and growing consumer interest in the site, however, drugstore. com lost $115.8 million in 1999. Pushed by its partners—
General Nutrition Center (GNC) and Rite Aid drugstores— dropped McCann-Erickson and signed on Fallon McElligott as its new agency in August 1999 (the agency shortened its name to Fallon in 2000).
To help establish as a force on the Internet as well as a solid alternative to traditional drugstores, to further increase brand identity, and to drive shoppers to’s website, Fallon created a new marketing campaign for the e-tailer that began in March 2000. The $30 million campaign targeted drugstore. com’s core customers, women aged 25 to 54. It included television and radio spots, print ads, and online advertising, all with the theme ‘‘A Very Healthy Way to Shop.’’
The campaign won a 2001 Bronze EFFIE Award and achieved its goals, increasing overall brand awareness by 48 percent and pushing the number of weekly visits to the site up 18 percent. Sales also increased, jumping to $110 million in 2000. But continued to operate in the red, losing more than $193 million in 2000. As part of its budget-cutting measures, drugstore. com canceled its campaign and eliminated all off-line media spending.

HISTORICAL CONTEXT hung out its virtual shingle in 1999 with the goal of providing consumers with first-rate pharmacy services and a wide selection of health, wellness, and beauty products not often available at traditional brickand-mortar drugstores because of space limitations. Coupled with the variety of products was convenience; busy consumers could shop for what the company described as ‘‘drugstore stuff’’ from the comfort of their own home or office simply by logging onto the Internet. Partnerships with companies such as General Nutrition Center (GNC) and the Rite Aid drugstore chain helped expand its market reach. Within 13 months of’s introduction the company announced that its one-millionth customer had shopped at the site. Chain Drug Review reported that, according to Peter Neupert,’s CEO, by May 2000 more than two million Internet users were visiting drugstore. com’s site each week.
Helping drive consumers to the new website was an advertising campaign created by the agency McCann-Erickson, Seattle. San Francisco–based Left Field Advertising, which had been responsible for all of drugstore. com’s advertising prior to McCann-Erickson taking over off-line efforts, continued to handle’s online advertising. Shortly after began its partnership with GNC and Rite Aid, McCann-Erickson lost the account based on complaints by the two chains that the advertising strategy touted online shopping at the expense of brick-and-mortar stores. Also, at the end of 1999 Left Field dropped the account. moved quickly to find a new agency. After a four-week review the company named Minneapolis-based Fallon McElligott its new agency, with McCann-Erickson to be assigned work on a byproject basis. stipulated that Fallon McElligott (which became simply Fallon in 2000) needed to create the new branding campaign quickly, but the agency’s president and creative director, David Lubars, said that Fallon was up to the speedy challenge the job posed. During an interview with Adweek, Lubars said, ‘‘All of these [dot-com] companies want to go fast. It’s good for us as an agency to move quickly.’’ And move quickly Fallon did. The agency was hired by in August 1999, and its first work for the online business—television spots with the tagline ‘‘Let the drugstore come to you’’—broke that November. In March 2000 Fallon released a new campaign for the e-tailer themed ‘‘A Very Healthy Way to Shop.’’

TARGET MARKET’s director of communications, Erik Moris, succinctly stated the company’s target market during an interview with Advertising Age. ‘‘We’re building this company around women,’’ he said. Moris noted that even the use of a bathtub as the focal point of the marketing campaign specifically targeted women, because men took showers and not baths. Women 25 to 54 years old were’s core audience. Additional studies identified head-of-household women, known as the family’s gatekeeper, as a key target because they were the consumers who made decisions about what products to buy and where to shop for them. The campaign was designed as a way to show busy, working women how could help simplify their lives and give them more time for the things they enjoyed, including spending time with family and friends and simple pleasures such as bubble baths. The campaign also drove home the point that by shopping for their various nongrocery purchases, from prescriptions to cosmetics, on the website, they could reduce the number of weekly trips they made to a bricks-and-mortar drugstore.

Since 1901, when pharmacist Charles R. Walgreen, Sr., opened his drugstore in Chicago, his business goal was always to provide customers what they needed at a good price. By 1910 Walgreen had two stores and a growing customer base. The business continued to expand and had reached 525 stores by 1929. Recognizing the value of advertising to reach customers, Walgreens (as the chain became known) relied on newspapers to carry its ads, but in 1931 the company launched the largest marketing campaign in its history. The effort cost $75,000 and included both print and broadcast advertising. In 2001 Walgreens was the number one drugstore chain in the United States, with $21.1 billion in sales. The company had 3,300 stores and projected opening a total of 425 new stores annually. The company was slow to become an e-tailer, however, falling behind the competition on the Internet. That changed when Walgreens went online in 2000. The launch of the new website,, was supported by a national marketing campaign designed to introduce consumers to Walgreens’ new service and build online brand awareness. The campaign was created by Euro RSCG Tatham, Chicago, and included four television spots.
CVS opened its first store in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1963, offering customers a selection of beauty items and over-the-counter health products. Pharmacies were added to the stores in 1963. By 1970 the chain had grown to 100 stores serving customers in the Northeast. The drugstore chain continued its expansion, and beginning in 1990 growth was driven by acquisitions. In 1990 CVS acquired the 500-store People Drug, which served the Mid-Atlantic states; in 1997 the Revco chain was purchased, adding an additional 2,552 stores in the Midwest and Southeast; and in 1998 Arbor Drugs, with 207 stores in Michigan, was acquired. In 1999 CVS paved the Internet highway for other brick-and-mortar drugstores when the chain became the first fully integrated online pharmacy in the United States. To help promote the new service, CVS signed a multimilliondollar sponsorship agreement with Microsoft Corp.’s As part of the deal CVS agreed to advertise through the online company’s network and to sponsor the MSN Health Channel, MSN WomenCentral’s Health, and MSN Hotmail’s Pharmacy Quicklink. In return, the Health & Wellness Channel of MSN’s e-commerce site, eShop, offered links to’s various sections. Other marketing for CVS included newspaper circulars and television and radio spots with the tagline ‘‘Care that touches everyone, one at a time.’’ The New York office of ad agency Bates USA was responsible for the company’s television and radio spots, while print ads were created in-house by a CVS team.

Fallon’s ‘‘A Very Healthy Way to Shop’’ campaign for quickly followed the agency’s first effort for the health and beauty e-tailer, ‘‘Let the Drugstore Come to You,’’ which was a series of television spots that broke during the 1999 holiday season. ‘‘A Very Healthy Way to Shop’’ was an expansion on’s effort to establish brand identity, to position the onlineonly business as a preferred alternative to brick-andmortar drugstores, and to drive consumers to shop at the site. The campaign began in March 2000 with television and radio spots, special sales promotions, and online advertising. The budget was estimated to be $30 million. Precampaign research by Fallon identified key markets based on consumers’ income, education level, and access to the Internet. Eight metropolitan areas where the campaign would be released were targeted: Boston, New York, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Austin (Texas), and Washington, D.C. Research also noted that many women with an extra hour in their day would spend it taking a bath, which led to a continuation of Fallon’s earlier work for that featured a woman soaking in a bathtub.
Television spots for the new campaign had the busy career woman back in her tub, where she made decisions, helped family and friends, and ordered health and beauty items from while she soaked in a bubble bath. In the first spot the woman was shown running a business meeting from her bathtub and helping one of her staff members by ordering necessary items from via her laptop computer, which was securely resting on a tray across the middle of the tub. A follow-up spot showed the woman chatting with her upset preteen daughter and again turning to her laptop to order products that would make her daughter feel better. The third spot in the series featured the woman hosting a cocktail party from the foamy comfort of her bathtub. The spots aired for the first time during the broadcast of the Academy Awards. Additional network programming during which spots aired included ratings giants Friends, ER, The West Wing, and The Late Show with David Letterman.
Radio spots followed a similar format and aired in the target cities on news/talk stations and on stations that played music ranging from adult contemporary to oldies, jazz, and classic country. Integrated online and off-line efforts included an alliance with Discovery Health Media, a multimedia company consisting of a healthinformation website ( and the Discovery Health Channel, a new cable channel run by Discovery Communications. The agreement entailed placing advertisements on the Discovery Health website and running television spots not only on the Discovery Health Channel but also on other Discovery cable networks, such as the Learning Channel and the Travel Channel.

Although’s marketing campaign was funded with a limited budget, the effort successfully achieved the goals of increasing brand awareness, reaching its target consumers, and driving business to drugstore. com’s website. According to Fallon, in the markets where radio and television spots aired, brand awareness was 52 percent higher than in markets where drugstore. com had not been promoted. Further, brand awareness overall increased to 48 percent in less than one year. Visits to’s website increased significantly following the start of the campaign. Just over one year after opening its online business and within one month of the campaign’s introduction, reported that it had reached its one-millionth unique paying customer. A review of online health and beauty retailers by Drug Store News noted that visits to’s site increased 24 percent through June 2001 compared to the same period the previous year. In 2001 the ‘‘A Very Healthy Way to Shop’’ campaign won a Bronze EFFIE Award in the General Retail/Etail category. Despite the campaign’s success and rapidly increasing sales, the company was losing money. In response to the mounting deficit, all off-line media spending was eliminated in July 2000, four months after the campaign began, cutting the total media expenditure to less than $20 million.


To herald the launch of not just a new product line but also an entirely new manufacturing process, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Holdings, Inc., initiated in May 2004 what was to become the largest and most aggressive marketing campaign in the company’s history. Founded in 1928 as a partnership between William Dreyer and Joseph Edy, Dreyer’s (which was known as Edy’s east of the Rockies in the United States to avoid confusion with rival Breyers) rose to become the largest ice-cream maker in the United States by 2005. After five years of research and development Dreyer’s had come up with a proprietary new way to blend its ice cream that resulted in a richer-tasting but lower-fat version of its traditional product. The San Francisco–based agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners created an ad campaign that was intended to attract consumers to this new product by building on the established brand name Dreyer’s Grand Light yet giving ice-cream buyers a new reason to reach for a product that many felt was inferior to the ‘‘real’’ thing. The comprehensive campaign, named ‘‘Unbelievable,’’ featured four prime-time television spots, backed by print, billboard, and radio advertising. Dreyer’s spent $20 million on the campaign. The theme of the TV spots was imitative of classic spy-thriller films, with various people expressing absolute incredulity that the new ice cream could possibly be lower in fat and calories than the original and accusing a fictitious Dreyer’s executive of fraud and deceit.
The campaign was both a critical and financial success, winning a Gold EFFIE Award for the ad agency and boosting 2004 sales of Dreyer’s Grand Light by 68 percent and overall sales of the company’s products by 49 percent over the previous year. ‘‘Unbelievable’’ ran from May through November 2004.

Ice cream had reached a household penetration level of 90 percent by 2004. This meant that almost everyone in America bought ice cream; those who were apt to buy it already had it in their freezers, and those who did not would be difficult to persuade to put it there. As a result, the ice-cream manufacturing industry relied heavily on slight tweaks of established products (such as new shapes, sizes, or flavors) to boost sales. As was often case with mature products, there had been little innovation in the industry for decades. Whether on a stick, on a cone, dipped in chocolate, cut into bite-sized pieces, spread between two cookies, or blended with nuts and caramel, the product remained what it had always been: a frozen concoction made from sugar and cream. In 2004 the per capita consumption of ice cream in the United States was 44 pints per year, the highest in the world. Trying to convince consumers to buy even more of the product was also dicey, because few people thought that ice cream was a healthy food choice to begin with.
The ice-cream industry was not immune to trends, and because of their product’s market saturation the manufacturers were quick to capitalize on shifts in consumer attitudes in the hope of increasing sales. In the mid-1980s, when low-fat diets reached a national fever pitch, the ice-cream industry was stymied. People were being told to eat a low-fat diet. Ice cream, as the very name implied, relied on milk fat to produce its rich, creamy taste. Sales of ice cream dropped as Americans turned to lower-fat alternatives. After a few years of both product and market research, in 1987 Dreyer’s introduced its Grand Light line of lower-fat ice creams. Sales were initially strong but quickly stagnated as customers found the taste not rich or smooth enough, according to the company’s internal research. It seemed that people would rather cut calories and fat in other parts of their diet and eat traditionally fattening ice cream if they ate it at all.
Diets fads came and went, and by the late 1990s the new trend of low-carbohydrate diets was leading the pack. While elimination of fats from consumers’ plates was no longer the dietary thrust, reducing refined sugars and calories was, and again ice-cream sales took a hit. Most manufacturers of ice cream jumped the trend by using artificial sweeteners to reduce the sugar and calories in their products or by using fat substitutes to make their ice creams healthier. Unfortunately, ‘‘low fat,’’ ‘‘low carbohydrate,’’ and ‘‘healthy’’ were synonyms for ‘‘tastes bad’’ in many consumers’ minds. For this reason Dreyer’s took the innovative step of formulating not new ingredients but a new processing method to produce a version of their traditional ice cream that was lower in fat and calories but much closer in taste to the original. The end result of a five-year and $100 million investment (in research and development, marketing, and infrastructure improvements) was a proprietary new ‘‘slow-churned’’ process of making ice cream. By employing a significantly lower temperature and higher pressure than traditional methods, the new churning method broke up and flattened the fat molecules in the cream, thereby increasing the number of molecules and their collective surface area while distributing them more evenly throughout the product, resulting in a richer and creamier texture. The manufacturing process took three times longer than with regular ice cream, hence the term ‘‘slow churned.’’ One serving of traditional ice cream had 11 grams of fat and 175 calories, while the new product had only 3.5 grams of fat and 100 calories. Dreyer’s had great hopes that this new product line, absent artificial or substitute ingredients, would revitalize the static ‘‘goodfor-you’’ segment of the ice-cream market and find a welcome reception from health-conscious consumers or those who just wanted to reduce the guilt in an age-old guilty pleasure.

With more than 60 percent of Americans classified as overweight, and with organic, natural, and lower-calorie foods seeing brisk sales going into 2004, Dreyer’s aimed to sell its new product across a wide spectrum of consumers, but it intended specifically to target women—traditionally the grocery shoppers in most families—in the hopes that once inside the household the new ice cream would catch on with all members of the family. Research suggested that women were more likely to reach for a healthy alternative to regular ice cream, while men and children were more resistant to anything other than the real thing. In addition, the aim of the campaign was to attract lapsed buyers of ‘‘light’’ ice cream who had abandoned the category on the basis of poor taste as well as people who avoided eating ice cream in general because of its unhealthy nutritional profile.

Dreyer’s was acquired by Nestle´ in 2003, making the combined company the world leader in ice-cream production and sales, followed by Unilever PLC, maker of the Breyers and Ben & Jerry’s brands. In 2004, however, the Breyers brand had total annual U.S. sales of $529.1 million, whereas the Dreyer’s brand’s U.S. sales topped out at $422.2 million. Dreyer’s had for years distributed the Ben & Jerry’s brand of ice creams through its own distribution channels. Moving a competitor’s product into the marketplace might seem counterproductive, but Dreyer’s CEO Gary Rogers explained in an interview with CNN that, with an enormous fleet of its own freezer trucks, Dreyer’s had the only direct-to-store distribution network in the United States. Because the Dreyer’s distribution business accounted for more than half of its annual profits, it made fiscal sense to extract additional profit from a competitor even if that company’s products ultimately sat next to the Dreyer’s products on supermarket shelves.
While Dreyer’s was the first to market with its new lower-fat ice creams, Unilever was close behind, introducing a ‘‘double-churned’’ version of its Breyers line in 2005. It used a similar process to create a more flavorful and creamy-textured ice cream with less fat and fewer calories. In a widespread TV and print campaign Breyers used the tagline ‘‘At Breyers, we believe good things get better . . . when they’re doubled!’’ and paired it with soothing images from nature of ‘‘doubles,’’ such as a double rainbow and a two-pronged waterfall. The advertisements then explained the ‘‘double-churned’’ process.

What Dreyer’s determined from its exhaustive research was that most people had an aversion to low-fat or healthy products, believing them to taste significantly worse than foods full of fat and calories. Rather than promote its slow-churned ice cream as a healthy alternative to regular ice cream, Dreyer’s, in conjunction with ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, chose to tackle the problem of skepticism head-on: the crux of the campaign was to tout the incredulous fact that the new ice cream tasted almost as good as the real thing. In fact, in preliminary national blind taste tests, 8 out of 10 people thought that they were eating a full-fat premium ice cream rather than a ‘‘light’’ version. Bolstered by this research, Dreyer’s embarked on a $20 million national media campaign, the largest in company history. It featured TV spots, print ads, billboards, radio spots, and commercials that aired in movie theaters prior to feature films.
The company was ambitious in its goal for the campaign, which was to increase stagnant sales of its light ice creams in 2004 by at least 50 percent over the previous year. Considering that the product was not rolled out until May, this amounted to a target increase of 50 percent for only seven months of the year (a period that would, however, include the ice-cream ‘‘selling season,’’ which corresponded to the hottest months of the year, May through September). Dreyer’s also hoped to create a ‘‘halo effect’’ in the sales of its traditional icecream lines as well. Even though no advertising was planned for its regular Grand Ice Cream line in 2004, Dreyer’s was counting on its increased media presence to draw customers to all of its products, not just the advertised Dreyer’s Grand Light line.
Four TV spots provided the backbone of the campaign. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ approach was to build on and play off of the skepticism most consumers had about any sort of reduced-calorie dessert product. Rather than try to educate people about the technological innovations of the new product, the ad agency set out to forestall the viewer’s incredulity by acknowledging it and taking it a step further. Using a classic-film-noir approach, each of the four spots featured a fictitious Dreyer’s executive named Jim who was approached in sinister or underhanded ways by other employees who were so skeptical about the low-fat content of the new slow-churned ice cream that they accused him of passing off real ice cream as the new ‘‘light’’ product. In one spot Jim got into his car in the company parking lot after hours only to have a fellow employee lean forward out of the shadowed back seat and claim, ‘‘I know what you’re up to.’’ In another commercial Jim was approached by a woman at a company picnic who told him, ‘‘It’s just not right, what you’re doing.’’ In a third Jim was accosted by a security guard who threatened to expose his secret unless Jim provided five gallons of ice cream per week to keep him quiet. The spots were utterly serious in tone, shot in high-contrast filmic style. The deadpan tone belied the silly message, but the point was driven home that this ice cream must be good enough to fool people, even people who worked for Dreyer’s. These three spots were edited into one additional commercial that ran like a movie trailer, with fast edits and a voice-over saying, ‘‘A man stands alone, accused of a terrible crime.’’ This commercial was played on television and in movie theaters in the advertising time before a feature film. The print campaign took a similar approach, highlighting the ‘‘unbelievable’’ claim that the new light ice cream was, in fact, a reduced-fat product. One billboard featured a photo of a half-gallon container of the ice cream with the tagline ‘‘Introducing New Dreyer’s Grand Light.’’ The ad was then made to look as though it had been defaced by graffiti, with the words ‘‘no way this is’’ inserted between the words ‘‘Grand’’ and ‘‘Light,’’ resulting in an ad that effectively read:
‘‘Introducing New Dreyer’s Grand ‘no way this is’ Light.’’ The radio spots resembled public service announcements, with a deadpan male voice stating, ‘‘This message is a public service announcement from Dreyer’s Corporation,’’ and then explaining that consumers may have been confused as to whether they had purchased a ‘‘light’’ or regular ice cream because the taste was so similar.

Dreyer’s more than met its goals with the campaign. Sales of the Grand Light ice creams rose 83 percent during the campaign’s run and 68 percent for the year. Sales of all Dreyer’s products increased $429 million, or 49 percent for the year. Clearly the ‘‘halo effect’’ approach had worked as hoped. Even the competition could not deny Dreyer’s successful innovation and reinvigoration of the light-ice-cream category. John Cutter, CEO of Friendly Ice Cream Corporation, stated in a 2004 earnings conference call, ‘‘One thing that Dreyer’s has done very effectively is they’ve come out with some very good ‘better-for-you’ products. They have a slow churned ice cream that is very good.’’
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners won a Gold EFFIE Award (Packaged Food, Diet/Health/Light category) for the campaign; the EFFIEs, held annually by the New York American Marketing Association, was one of the most prestigious award programs in the advertising industry. The campaign also generated a significant amount of press. In addition to numerous write-ups in food-industry magazines, Newsweek ran a piece on the new manufacturing process, CEO Rogers was interviewed on CNN, and the product was taste-tested by the anchors of The Today Show during a food segment. Dreyer’s was ultimately able to jump-start sales in a category that had seen flat sales for the previous three years, and it inspired just about every other major competitor to follow suit. More than 100 ‘‘low-carb’’ ice creams were introduced in 2004, versus only 19 in 2003 and zero in 2000. By positioning itself soundly in the marketplace with its sweeping ad campaign, Dreyer’s achieved its goals and put itself ahead of an industry-wide trend.


After an upturn in its fortunes in the highly competitive soft-drink industry, in 1997 Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc., a subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes, reigned as the leading noncola soft-drink business in North America. Its spicy beverage Dr Pepper was the third-best-selling noncola soft drink in America and was outsold only by PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew and the Coca-Cola Company’s Sprite. Analysts within the soft-drink industry attributed Dr Pepper’s success partly to its unrivaled position as the leading spicy soft drink. In contrast, Dr Pepper’s sister brand 7 UP was competing against other successful lemon-lime soft drinks, such as Sprite. Dr Pepper had been advertising with the cumbersome tagline ‘‘Now Is the Time. This Is the Place. Dr Pepper, This Is the Taste.’’ In an effort to continue its sales growth and streamline its previous tagline, Dr Pepper/Seven Up released a campaign called ‘‘This Is the Taste.’’ The ad agency Young & Rubicam created ‘‘This Is the Taste’’ with Dr Pepper’s estimated $55 million advertising budget. The campaign, which consisted of print ads and television spots, debuted on January 1, 1998, with four commercials that emphasized the unique flavor of Dr Pepper. Young & Rubicam conceived commercials that attempted to ‘‘deliver [this] hard-hitting claim in a humorous way,’’ John Swan, an agency partner, explained to Adweek. One of the spots depicted John Madden, a former National Football League (NFL) coach, searching a deserted stadium trying to find the elusive meaning of the game. His journey ended in success at a Dr Pepper vending machine. The campaign continued into 1999 with soccer-themed commercials featuring American and Mexican athletes. All spots closed with the ‘‘This Is the Taste’’ slogan. The campaign ended January 1, 2000.
‘‘This Is the Taste’’ was proclaimed a success by both Dr Pepper and industry experts. In 1999 Dr Pepper’s sales grew at a faster rate than that of the overall softdrink industry. The campaign’s final year marked the 15th consecutive year of sales growth for Dr Pepper.

Founded in 1885, Dr Pepper was the oldest of the major soft-drink brands in the United States. But despite its distinctive taste, the beverage had never achieved the mass acceptance of Coca-Cola or Pepsi. For most of its history Dr Pepper’s advertising had tried to make a virtue of this outsider image. After billing itself as the ‘‘most original soft drink ever’’ for much of the 1970s, the company switched to the funky and popular ‘‘Be a Pepper’’ campaign in 1977. Following the conclusion of its ‘‘Hold Out for Out-Of-the-Ordinary’’ campaign in 1987, Dr Pepper was the fifth-best-selling soft drink in the country. ‘‘We’re pretty comfortable with the idea that consumers know we’re different,’’ a company spokesperson told USA Today.
Dr Pepper’s uniqueness was again to be a significant asset during the 1990s. Beginning in 1990 Americans’ love affair with colas began to wane. According to the Wall Street Journal, the combined share of colas in the United States dropped from 72 percent in 1990 to 64 percent in 1996. In place of colas, consumers swilled ever greater amounts of so-called noncolas—primarily Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew, and Sprite. By 1995 Dr Pepper was the fourth most popular soft drink in the country, and its year-end sales were up 6.9 percent, far surpassing the remainder of the industry, which grew by only 3 percent. Despite this remarkable growth spurt, however, its two noncola counterparts, Sprite and Mountain Dew, outpaced Dr Pepper. After a year of record-breaking sales, Sprite displaced Dr Pepper as the leading noncola beverage in 1996, when its sales volume jumped 12 percent from 1995. Mountain Dew also performed well. In response, Dr Pepper created ‘‘Now Is the Time. This Is the Place. Dr Pepper, This Is the Taste,’’ to add momentum to the Dr Pepper brand. Nevertheless, while 1997 proved to be another growth year for Dr Pepper, Sprite and Mountain Dew continued to sell better. Prior to its inauguration of the 1998 ‘‘This Is the Taste’’ commercials, Dr Pepper possessed 5.8 percent of the domestic soft-drink market, while Mountain Dew and Sprite respectively controlled 6.3 percent and 6.2 shares. ‘‘We will only be content when Dr Pepper is growing at a faster rate than any other major soft drink,’’ promised Jack Kilduff, the company’s president, when he announced the marketing agenda for 1998.

To reach its ambitious goals, Dr Pepper needed to capture an essential demographic group. John Clarke, Dr Pepper’s chief advertising officer, told Adweek that the new spots targeted 12- to 34-year-olds. Especially important was the narrower market of teenagers within this broad group. Part of their significance lay in their sheer numbers. As the progeny of the massive baby-boomer generation, these members of the so-called Generation Y (or ‘‘echo-boomers’’) accounted for 28 percent of the American population. Moreover, these consumers, who were between the ages of 10 and 18, were rapacious softdrink guzzlers. For example, in 1993 alone teens spent $3 billion of their own money on soda, reported the newsweekly Time. Marketing a product to these echoboomers was a difficult proposition, however. They were, Time explained, ‘‘inoculated against pitches from having grown up with television jingles at breakfast.’’ Members of Generation Y not only commanded a greater spending power than any prior generation but also recognized that ‘‘their main area of [authority was] as a consumer,’’ said Time.
According to the Daily News Record, the most effective way to address this audience was to ‘‘under promise;’’ that is, to avoid the typical strategy of touting an inanimate product as the path to happiness or popularity. Generation Y-ers were far too media savvy to succumb to this questionable logic. Consequently, ‘‘This Is the Taste’’ avoided scenes of gorgeous young adults drinking Dr Pepper and suddenly enjoying newfound prowess or popularity. Instead the commercials focused on Dr Pepper’s taste and, as Brandweek noted, on ‘‘consumers’ undying devotion to the product.’’ Moreover, ‘‘This Is the Taste’’ retained the spirit of Dr Pepper’s long-standing quirky image advertising. This decision was grounded in the tendency of teens to rebel against the conventional and accepted. Dr Pepper’s spots did show people going to extreme lengths for a swig of the beverage, but these folks were presented as unique and unconventional, quite unlike the portraits of everyday, hardworking Americans who were the mainstay of many Coca-Cola campaigns. Of course, while it assiduously courted Generation Y, Dr Pepper did not want to alienate consumers over the age of 20. Unlike Pepsi’s campaigns, which had long sought to position that soft drink primarily as a youth brand, ‘‘This Is the Taste’’ strove to achieve a crossgenerational appeal. No scenes of screaming teens or smart-talking kids were used. Instead ‘‘This Is the Taste’’ relied on a tongue-in-cheek humor, catchy story lines, and an ensemble of characters that catered to adults as well as teens. For instance, John Madden’s presence provided the campaign with a means to connect with older consumers, as did a commercial released in December 1998 featuring the notoriously intense Bill Cowher, coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL team. Because they did not resort to doling out the heavyhanded cynicism and obvious antiadvertising stance that was supposed to be popular among teenagers and their Generation X counterparts, ‘‘This Is the Taste’’ commercials had to be ‘‘more creative than ever to effectively convey our message,’’ Dr Pepper’s Clarke told Adweek.

Sprite and Mountain Dew, Dr Pepper’s foremost competitors, also strove to appeal to a youth market. Unlike Dr Pepper, though, both these brands more directly and unabashedly targeted Generation Y consumers. Sprite’s 1998 marketing effort stemmed from its parent company’s 1993 decision to end ‘‘I Like the Sprite in You,’’ a peppy campaign that mainly attempted to differentiate Sprite from its fellow lemon-lime beverage 7 UP. In its place Sprite and its ad agency, Lowe & Partners/SMS, developed ‘‘Image Is Nothing. Taste Is Everything. Obey Your Thirst,’’ a campaign that set its sights directly on Dr Pepper and Mountain Dew. As Lee Garfinkle, the chairman of Lowe & Partners, told Adweek on November 6, 1995, ‘‘the challenge was . . . to make Sprite relate to today’s kids and bring it into the ‘90s.’’ The way that ‘‘Obey Your Thirst’’ accomplished this aim was to ridicule the styles and fluffy messages of traditional softdrink commercials and instead cultivate a pronounced antiadvertising stance. The commercials used cuttingedge hip-hop music and scenes of teens skateboarding, skiing, and playing basketball. Although ‘‘Obey Your Thirst’’ incorporated celebrities, such as National Basketball Association (NBA) star Grant Hill, the spots derided the entire notion of using a celebrity endorser. One component commercial depicted Grant Hill stylishly dunking the ball on the court and then pausing to take a sip of Sprite. As a young boy watched him and followed his example, the voice-over declared, ‘‘If you want to make the NBA, practice. If you want a refreshing drink, obey your thirst. Sprite.’’ A company spokesperson explained the campaign’s strategy to Advertising Age in 1998: ‘‘The approach is that we’re not talking down to our audience. We know teens are smart enough. We know they know we’re selling them a product.’’ The brand’s sales increased immediately after the campaign’s launch. After becoming the fastest-growing soft drink in 1996, Advertising Age proclaimed that Sprite had ‘‘transcended the lemon-lime category to become a mainstream soft drink.’’ Its successes continued in 1997 as it garnered a 6.2 percent share of the soft-drink market. Mountain Dew reaped similar rewards from its strategy of targeting teenage boys. Created by BBDO Worldwide, its fast-paced commercials resembled music videos more than advertisements. Extreme athletes—representing sports that were tremendously popular with the echo-boomers, such as skateboarding and snowboarding—were a staple of Mountain Dew’s advertising. In one 1999 spot skateboarders raced along the tops of New York skyscrapers. In another spot scenes of extreme athletes crashing and falling off their skateboards, surfboards, and snowboards were set to the old folk tune ‘‘Dem Bones.’’ Mountain Dew aired a Super Bowl commercial in 1999 and was a prominent sponsor of the X-Games, an extreme sport extravaganza broadcast by ESPN. Like Sprite, Mountain Dew often adopted a more jaded outlook in its advertisements. Mountain Dew’s 1997 performance was even more outstanding than Sprite’s. It gained the distinction of being the fourth most popular soft drink that year and triumphed in ‘‘clever brand differentiation,’’ noted Advertising Age.

Dr Pepper had described its goal for ‘‘This Is the Taste’’ as that of ‘‘position[ing the brand] more as a leading soft drink rather than simply as the leading noncola soft drink,’’ Dr Pepper’s Clarke explained to the Dallas Morning News. The company viewed the campaign as its vehicle into the mainstream cola market. Although Dr Pepper was far less interested in claiming converts from Pepsi and Coke’s flagship colas, it did feel that by not billing itself exclusively as a fringe drink, it could cannibalize Sprite and Mountain Dew’s share of the market. Therefore, ‘‘This Is the Taste’’ was ‘‘more aggressive and more of a call to action,’’ said Clarke to the News. ‘‘We believe we’re as much of an icon to consumers as Coke or Pepsi.’’
Dr Pepper realized that establishing its brand in the mainstream of the soft-drink market would require a concentrated marketing push. Both in 1997 and 1998 Dr Pepper budgeted more to promote itself than it did in any prior advertising campaigns. The outlay in 1998, in fact, was 50 percent higher than in 1997. ‘‘This increased marketing investment will ensure greater consumer exposure to Dr Pepper in 1998 than ever before,’’ predicted Dr Pepper/Seven Up’s president. The company built upon the solid foundation laid in 1997 with ‘‘This Is the Taste’’ ads—which had appeared during high-profile events such as the NFL conference championships games. In 1998 Dr Pepper branched out and ran its commercials during new programming as well. Along with big-ticket sporting events, ‘‘This Is the Taste’’ spots ran during the Golden Globe Awards and Rosie O’Donnell’s talk show. In addition to its television spots, Dr Pepper used print ads. These did not share the images from the commercials but instead touted their own message. The company also sponsored a car in the NASCAR circuit in a bid to raise its visibility. ‘‘We’ve pulled together all the elements needed to propel Dr Pepper into the number one noncola soft drink position in the U.S.,’’ raved the company’s president at a bottler’s convention.
The campaign continued into 1999 with a January release of three 30-second TV commercials. Titled ‘‘Anthem,’’ ‘‘Latin,’’ and ‘‘Halftime,’’ they featured Americans and Mexicans playing soccer. The decision to tie Dr Pepper in with soccer melded with the agency’s decision in 1999 to advertise Dr Pepper’s international appeal. Although it was not the most popular sport in America, soccer was internationally referred to as ‘‘The World’s Favorite Pastime.’’
The campaign officially ended on January 1, 2000, when Young & Rubicam released the subsequent campaign, ‘‘Dr Pepper Makes the World Taste Better.’’
Clarke explained in the PR Newswire news service that the 2000 campaign made sense as the next step for Dr Pepper’s advertising. ‘‘Now, we’re going to provide the
answer to the logical question, ‘Why is Dr Pepper the taste,’ ’’ Clarke said. ‘‘Because no matter where you are, and no matter what you’re doing—a Dr Pepper will make life taste better. In fact, as our new tagline declares, ‘Dr Pepper Makes the World Taste Better.’ ’’

The noncola category of the soft-drink industry had another banner year in 1998. Dr Pepper sales rose 5.8 percent during the year. Nevertheless, Dr Pepper could not match the gains its rivals made. Mountain Dew catapulted past Diet Coke to become the thirdbest-selling soft drink, with its sales growing a stunning 9.9 percent in 1998. Sprite held onto its position as the number five beverage in the category, while Dr Pepper remained lodged in sixth place. In significant ways the company was hindered by its bottling and distribution systems. Because Dr Pepper/Seven Up owned no private bottling plants, it was dependent on independent operations or those controlled by Coca-Cola or Pepsi to perform this crucial step of moving the beverage from production to market. Moreover, its giant competitors had better distribution systems and more clout with retail and fast-food chains. Indeed, Dr Pepper/Seven Up was ‘‘in a tooth-and-nail struggle with larger rivals Coke and Pepsi for every inch of space it now occupies in supermarkets, convenience stores, soda fountains, and vending machines,’’ Brandweek asserted.
Despite these liabilities, Dr Pepper’s future looked bright. The noncola sector showed no signs of slowing, and the brand had a loyal following of consumers. In 1999 Cadbury Schweppes sold its non-U.S. DrEˆPepper business and several other brands to the Coca-Cola Company. Cadbury Schweppes also decided to merge its bottling plant, the Dr Pepper Bottling Company, with the Carlyle Group’s bottling plant American Bottling to form the consolidated Dr Pepper/Seven Up Bottling Group.
Dr Pepper executives attributed the brand’s increased sales growth to the ‘‘This Is the Taste’’ campaign along with the improved bottling. Dr Pepper sold 5 percent more cases than in the previous year—marking its 15th consecutive year of sales growth. The brand’s achievement was praised as ‘‘a phenomenon’’ by John Sicher, the publisher and editor of the industry newsletter Beverage Digest. Because of Dr Pepper’s lack of competitors, Sicher referred to the drink as ‘‘an unstoppable freight train.’’ Dr Pepper was the third-fastest-growing U.S. soft-drink brand in 1999, surpassed only by Mountain Dew and Sprite. Unfortunately for Dr Pepper/Seven Up, the company’s second-largest brand, 7 UP, recorded a 3 percent sales decline the same year.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


In May 1997 Airwair Ltd. assigned the creative portion of its Dr. Martens advertising account to the Dallasbased agency Pyro. Dr. Martens was a brand of work boots and shoes known for their industrial outer appearance. The boots already had an antiestablishment and youth-culture image; Pyro was asked to create a branding campaign that would continue to define that image. Pyro responded with a series of four print ads—none of which contained a product shot—that appeared in consumer magazines and as in-store posters. The expression of the Dr. Martens brand through unconventional images and messages maintained consistency with the company’s reputation for nontraditional marketing strategies. Television advertising developed by the British agency Harrison Carloss followed up on the print campaign, which continued into 1998. This U.S. campaign also extended into an international campaign. Concurrent with this campaign, Dr. Martens extended its brand name by producing and distributing alternative music compilations that complemented its brash image. Then, in 1998, it launched the Dr. Martens record label to continue this marketing strategy by promoting shoe sales through CD giveaways. The move tied into the brand’s historical connection to alternative musical trends, from the days of the British invasion in the 1960s to the eruption of punk in the 1970s to the breaking of new wave in the 1980s to the grunge movement of the 1990s. Dr. Martens sought to use its brand recognition as a means of leveraging publicity for upand-coming bands while at the same time benefiting itself by adding a further compulsion to the consumer’s purchase decision. Dr. Martens also tied into the World Cup soccer tournament in 1998 with a series of boots featuring national flags countries competing in the event.

Dr. Klaus Maertens, a German M.D., teamed up with Dr. Herbert Funk, an engineer, to design shoes to relieve the sore feet of Munich women in the wake of World War II. The shoes also provided relief to Maertens himself after he suffered a skiing accident. The secret to the design was the process of heat-sealing the sole so as to create a pocket of air that cushioned footfalls. In 1959 Maertens transferred production to Britain, licensing the brand to the Benjamin Griggs and Septimus Jones Company (later known as R. Griggs Group), manufacturers of industrial footwear since 1901. The anglicization of the name to Dr. Martens occurred in this transition, simplifying the spelling for the purpose of exporting the shoes to new markets. The Griggs company produced its first Dr. Martens boot on the first of April, 1960, naming the model 1460 after this date. Guitarist Pete Townshend initiated Dr. Martens’ connection to rock and roll. He wore 1460s on stage because the boots proved solid enough for stomping on smashed guitars when his band, the Who, took to destroying its equipment during distortion-filled encores. The gesture of youthful rebellion became embodied in the shoes, which were too bulky to be fashionable but turned into a fashion statement anyway. Subsequent generations of rebels wore them as an expression of their angst. This earned DMs, as the boots were dubbed, an underground following in the skinhead, punk, and newwave movements. The Dr. Martens World Wide Web site asserted that ‘‘classic punk bands such as The Clash, the Stranglers, the Damned and Buzzcocks [wore] the boots almost religiously.’’
In 1995 Dr. Martens tied into this connection with the alternative music scene by releasing a compilation CD entitled Unlaced (playing off the popularity of MTV’s live acoustic series Unplugged) featuring the music of Blur, New Order, and Suede. Music & Media Partnership, a company specializing in connecting branded businesses with record companies, orchestrated this strategy. The CD was a success, reaching the top 20 on the charts with sales of more than 100,000. Dr. Martens followed up with more compilations, shifting from overthe-counter sales to purchase-incentive gifts. One such compilation, released through Warner Brothers, moved 450,000 CDs (and shoes) in a month. ‘‘There’s no way we would have shifted nearly half a million pairs of shoes in the space of a few weeks but for the promotion of that shoe,’’ said Dr. Martens music strategist Karl Nielsen in York Membry’s Music Week article. Subsequent compilations did not move quite so well. Shoe Pie, by the label 4AD and featuring Lush, Throwing Muses, and the Breeders, sold only 200,000 copies in the United States and 80,000 in the United Kingdom. Nielsen stressed that moving product was not necessarily the primary objective of the promotions—Dr. Martens was ‘‘not just in it to buy market share quickly. The Dr. Martens philosophy is to be supportive of youth culture, especially through music, but not overtly commercial,’’ said Nielsen in Membry’s article. Dr. Martens supported the music of youth culture in multiple ways. It sponsored stages at the Phoenix and Reading festivals in 1996. In 1998 it sponsored the Glastonbury Festival and sponsored a stage during the Lollapalooza U.S. tour. Dr. Martens also supported individual bands, sponsoring Soul Coughing on its 1998 U.K. tour and sponsoring a live recording of Logical Progression III during Christmas 1997.

‘‘Music is a great way for a brand such as Dr. Martens to reach its target market,’’ said Rick Blaskey of Music & Media Partnership, who helped seal the deal with Dr. Martens. That target market consisted primarily of youths aged 13 through 25. This connection to youth culture both honored the roots of the brand’s success while also generating future success by hooking in devotees early on. Arkady Ostrovsky profiled Dr. Martens’s ‘‘dream customer’’ in his 1998 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, introducing her simply as Ann, a 26-year-old native of San Francisco working in New Zealand. ‘‘I have been wearing DMs since I was 13. First at school, then at university. My boyfriend was a punk and he had red hair and 20-eyelet boots.’’ Her current boyfriend, by contrast, was a derivatives trader, and she bought him a jumper from DM’s limited clothing line. Dr. Martens thus became the item that nonconformists could carry with them to symbolize their latent rebellious spirit as their lives conformed more to the norm.
Ostrovsky commenced his article by quoting a joking Stephen Griggs, chairman of the R. Griggs Group, his family’s company, which had been manufacturing Dr. Martens since 1960. ‘‘We had Madonna and the Pope wearing DMs, but my mom does not get on too well with them. She thinks they are too clumpy.’’ Though Dr. Martens did not have plans of targeting older mothers of corporate executives, the brand did aspire to expand its target market. However, demographic growth would prove more challenging than geographic growth, so Griggs thought more in terms of expanding distribution, not expanding marketing. ‘‘I am very uncomfortable about the U.S. being 60 percent of our sales. Obviously, I do not want our American sales to drop, but I want to increase the share of other markets to counter the U.S.,’’ Griggs stated in Ostrovsky’s article. Specifically Griggs envisioned China and Latin America as the brand’s biggest potential growth markets.

Dr. Martens advertising did not position the product as a work boot, but rather as a fashion statement identifying the wearer with youth culture. The brand therefore competed against other brands that identified themselves with youth culture, especially those growing out of the rebellious skateboard movement, such as Vans, Air Walk, and Caterpillar. Dr. Martens held an advantage, though, as most of these brands produced sneakers, whereas no other boot held sway over youth fashion as did Dr. Martens. In this sense Dr. Martens had successfully carved its own niche in the youth market without any threatening competition. Dr. Martens’s main challenge, then, became growing its own market without commercializing its image, which would appear to its antiestablishment target market as selling out. ‘‘We have to convince people that DM shoes are still the same; it is just now we are making more of them,’’ said Griggs in Ostrovsky’s article.

Pyro’s product-free campaign, which marked the return of Dr. Martens advertising after a year-long hiatus, commenced with a series of four print ads that ran in consumer magazines such as Rolling Stone and Details, as well as those with a more alternative edge, such as Bikini, Raygun, and Spin. Thematically, the ads advanced the notion of individualism, inherently suggesting that wearing Dr. Martens expressed individualism. One headline read, ‘‘The mainstream is polluted,’’ while another ran:
‘‘You start out and end up just like everyone else. What happens in between is up to you.’’ The ink from one headline—which read: ‘‘The world is full of generic, mass-produced, homogenized products. Don’t become one’’ —bled into the shape of a bar code, punctuating the message of the text. In Steve Krajewski’s 1997 Adweek article Pyro creative director Todd Tilford explained the rationale behind the product-free message ads. ‘‘What the client liked about our work is that we try to blur the line between advertising and ‘brand art.’ ’’ Following up on its success with CD compilations, Dr. Martens created its own eponymous record label, launching the project by releasing a compilation entitled Generation To Generation, which tied together different periods of the music listened to by Dr. Martens wearers. Alternative bands of the ‘90s such as Box Office Poison and Lynus covered ‘60s anthems ‘‘Louie Louie’’ and ‘‘My Generation,’’ respectively, as a means of tying together the first wave of DM music to the current crop of DM music. The collection also included tracks from ‘80s bands such as the Lambrettas and the Untouchables. The long-term goal for the label was to ‘‘push young British talent to an audience who wouldn’t otherwise hear them’’ by running promotional giveaways throughout all the areas covered by Dr. Martens distribution, according to Dr. Martens marketing strategist Simon Mills.
The painted-boots tie-in with World Cup soccer in 1998 was an idea that originated with the Norwegian distributor of the brand to celebrate his home team’s qualification for the tournament. The distributor ordered 40,000 pairs of boots with the Norwegian flag in hopes of catching the wave of his country’s nationalistic fervor. Similarly Dr. Martens sought to capture the patriotism of soccer fans with the Stars and Stripes, the Union Jack, and St. Andrews flags.
Dr. Martens also ventured into broadcast ads in 1998 with the campaign created by Harrison Carloss of Newcastle-under-Lyme. It ran concurrently with the Pyro campaign. In the United Kingdom the ads ran exclusively in cinemas, while France and the United States added television to the media mix. Print ads also ran in fringe magazine titles such as Loaded, FHM, Maxim, ID, The Face, Arena, Dazed & Confused, Frank, Sugar, and Bliss.

Between 1980 and 1998 Dr. Martens sales increased tenfold, reaching $395.2 million in 1998, as the brand sold 12 million pairs of boots and shoes globally. In 1997, when Pyro began creating advertising for DM, the brand racked up pre-tax profits of $54.56 million, a significant increase over the figure of $35.2 million in pre-tax profits for 1996. At the conclusion of 1998 Airwair began making preparations for the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martens by shopping for an ad agency that could handle a global account. In April 1999 Airwair awarded the $10 million account to the British agency TBWA GGT Simons Palmer, London, thus consolidating the brand’s advertising at one agency to create a cohesive global campaign, targeting the core markets of Britain, France, Italy, Germany, the Benelux countries, and the United States. TBWA creative director Trevor Beattie reacted to the announcement with enthusiasm, calling Dr. Martens ‘‘a great name, a cult brand and a fabulous creative challenge. People are fighting to work on the account.’’

Doctor’s Associates Inc.

In the late 1990s, despite being the leader in the submarine sandwich fast-food niche with an estimated 27 percent market share, Subway sandwich shops’ sales were flat and showed no signs of improving. That changed, however, when one of the chain’s loyal customers, an overweight Indiana University senior named Jared Fogle, took the chain’s promise of serving healthy, lowfat sandwiches to heart and went on a diet of Subway sandwiches. The ‘‘Subway Diet’’ was a success—Fogle lost 245 pounds eating the chain’s sandwiches twice a day—and Subway had a new spokesman to attract dietconscious consumers to its restaurants.
On the advice of its advertising agency, Hal Riney & Partners, Subway hired Fogle to pitch its low-fat menu options. Using Fogle’s weight-loss success story as its theme, Subway launched a $75 million advertising campaign in 2000. The first television commercial featuring him was a 30-second spot that opened by showing the pre-diet, 425-pound Fogle, followed by the trimmeddown Fogle ordering a Subway sandwich and eating it while seated on a park bench. An announcer stated, ‘‘We’re not saying this diet is right for you. You should talk to your doctor first. But it’s food for thought.’’ The campaign resonated with people looking for healthy, high-quality, low-fat alternatives to the typical fast-food choices of greasy burgers and fries. The company was careful to avoid responsibility for promoting a diet plan, however. A Subway spokeswoman told the Cincinnati Post, ‘‘We’re pleased that our low-fat sandwiches could fit into [Jared’s] meal plan, but it’s not a diet that we endorse by any means.’’ Commenting on the success of the ‘‘Jared’’ campaign, Subway said that, following Fogle’s 2000 appearance in a television advertising spot for the chain, his weight-loss success story had captured the attention and imagination of millions consumers and television viewers. Fogle subsequently starred in eight additional commercials for Subway and was the featured speaker at hundreds of public appearances.

In 1964 people craving a submarine sandwich either made it at home or went to a local sandwich shop or Italian restaurant. That changed in 1965, when recent high school graduate Fred DeLuca, worried about finding money to pay his college tuition, talked with his family’s friend, Peter Buck. Rather than offering to pay DeLuca’s tuition, Buck had a different suggestion: he would loan the money for Fred to open a sub sandwich shop. Ten years later there were 16 Subway shops in business and one goal on DeLuca’s mind: expansion. By 2004 the chain had grown to more than 21,000 stores in 75 countries. Commenting on the growth during an interview with Advertising Age, Subway’s director of development, Don Fertman, said, ‘‘Goal-setting has always been important. Besides being No. 1 in every market we serve worldwide, our main goal was to look at what the possibilities can [lead to].’’ Beginning as early as 1989 Subway was using its menu of sandwiches made with fresh-baked bread, fresh ingredients, and low-fat meats such as turkey-based cold cuts, to promote itself as the restaurant choice for people wanting to eat healthy. In 1992 Subway added veggie and cheese and roast chicken breast sandwiches to its menu selection, further strengthening its image as the low-fat fast-food chain. Subway promoted itself through various marketing campaigns as the healthy alternative to greasy fast food. It launched its first national television campaign, ‘‘Subway—It’s My Way,’’ in 1990, and the theme ‘‘The Way a Sandwich Should Be’’ was introduced in 1996. The chain’s 1998 ‘‘Eat Smarter’’ marketing included television spots portraying overweight people in various situations, such as a clearly heavy man floating in the water behind a motorboat waiting to be towed on his skis. When his friend revved the boat’s engine the boat would not move. The camera panned to a partially eaten burger and fries while a voice-over said, ‘‘Eat less fat.’’ It was not until the 2000 campaign featuring Jared Fogle, however, that the chain’s low-fat options finally captured the attention of consumers. April Y. Pennington wrote in Advertising Age, ‘‘You can lose weight eating Subway sandwiches! everyone cried, and the rest was history.’’

As the new millennium approached, obesity in the United States was a growing problem. According to research conducted in 2000 by the American Obesity Association, 30 percent of children aged 6 to 11 years old were overweight, and 15 percent were considered obese. The numbers for adolescents aged 12 to 19 were similar. Further, 127 million American adults were considered overweight, and 60 million were obese. One factor blamed for these statistics was high-fat, highcalorie fast food. From the mid-1980s Subway began reaching out to consumers of all ages by promoting itself as an alternative to hamburgers and fries. With Fogle as the poster boy for thin people everywhere trapped in overweight bodies, the new Subway ads focused on attracting consumers wanting to lose weight and make healthier eating choices while still having a fast meal.

To help build a brand identity and lure customers away from the top two chains, Subway and Blimpie, the number three sub sandwich chain, Quiznos, launched a marketing campaign that featured the company’s cofounder, Jimmy Lambatos. ‘‘Chef Jimmy’’ used quirkiness and a grandfather-next-door approach to establish an image of quality for Quiznos. In the television ads he smiled and waved, stressing the importance of fresh, high-quality ingredients when making a good sandwich. ‘‘Chef Jimmy’’ was so passionate about making a perfect sandwich that he forgot to put on his pants. During an interview with Kelly Pate of the Denver Post, Quiznos’s chief executive officer, Rick Schaden, said that the company was counting on the personality of ‘‘Chef Jimmy’’ to drive sales and help push the restaurant into the fastcasual niche, defined as restaurants with higher-quality food than typical fast-food places. ‘‘Our next step is to take everything we do and make sure it’s in line with that,’’ Schaden explained.
Despite its distinction of being the oldest sub sandwich chain—it was founded in 1964—Blimpie International had been pushed by Quiznos from its number two spot by 2004. As the company prepared to celebrate its 40th birthday, it was struggling to reinvigorate its brand. Blimpie chief marketing officer Mark Mears said to PR Newswire that the company’s new plan was consumer focused and encouraged restaurant franchisees to treat customers ‘‘The Blimpie Way.’’ Mears explained that the new slogan ‘‘permeates all levels of the Blimpie system and will serve as the foundation for revitalizing a brand that until recently stood still and resisted change while our competitors adapted to meet the needs of today’s consumers.’’ He added, ‘‘We also plan to ‘take off the gloves’ in a new, aggressive marketing campaign.’’

Promo’s Peter Breen noted that, while Subway was a 15,000-restaurant chain worldwide with an estimated $3.2 billion in sales, it lacked the advertising budget to compete with chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell. But he noted that Subway was ‘‘fairly confident they can compete with the big boys when it comes to offering healthier food and better service.’’ A limited budget was not enough to prevent Subway from moving ahead with the ‘‘Jared’’ campaign. Breen wrote that the chain’s marketing team was taking its healthy-alternative theme in a different direction with the introduction of an upgraded menu, a more appealing service plan, and a $75 million advertising campaign. As part of the campaign Subway dropped its four-year-old tagline, ‘‘The way a sandwich should be,’’ and replaced it with the slogan ‘‘Eat fresh.’’ The campaign included television spots featuring weightloss champion Jared Fogle as well as Billy Blanks, the creator of Tae Bo, a workout program that combined elements of karate, aerobics, boxing, and dance. While Blanks’s message reached consumers who were already exercising and living a healthy lifestyle, Jared Fogle and his weight-loss success story resonated with consumers fighting the battle of the bulge. Fogle was a student at Indiana University in 1998 when he saw Subway’s commercials promoting the chain’s ‘‘Seven under Six’’ low-fat sandwiches. Believing the promise of eating healthier food suggested in the Subway ads, Fogle, who weighed more than 400 pounds, put himself on a diet in which he ate nothing every day but a cup of coffee for breakfast, a Subway six-inch turkey sub for lunch, and a foot-long veggie sub for dinner. He also had a bag of chips and diet soda with each sandwich. One year later, helped by his diet of Subway low-fat sandwiches and a daily exercise regimen, Fogle had dropped almost half his body weight and had become Subway’s unexpected champion.
When Fogle’s weight-loss story made its way into an article in the Indiana Daily Student newspaper, word quickly spread and appeared in the national news. From there the story was picked up by Subway officials, who asked him to star in a commercial. The initial television spot portrayed the 425-pound Fogle and then switched to a shot of him, 245 pounds leaner, ordering a Subway sandwich and eating it while sitting on a park bench. Blanks became the chain’s first celebrity spokesman when his spot aired. It featured Blanks leading a Tae Bo class in a series of kicking and punching moves and telling students to head to Subway after the class for a healthy lunch. The spot included an offer giving away coupons for Blanks’s workout videos with Subway sandwich purchases. William Schettini, Subway’s chief marketing officer, told Breen, ‘‘Blanks and Fogle gave Subway a one-two kick, so to speak, with Blanks appealing to the already health-conscious and Fogle inspiring those who want to be health-conscious.’’ Chris Carroll, director of marketing for the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, said in an interview with Promo that Subway’s marketing ultimately had to show how the chain’s products benefited the customer. He explained, ‘‘What we’ve decided to do, at least over the next 12 to 18 months, is to have our promotional message be about our products. Every piece of creative will have a promotional theme to it, but in our case, we’ve got these new sauces, we’ve got these new breads, and that becomes the promotional message, the incentive to try us out.’’

The health-focused campaign was so successful that the company delayed the launch of a new $75 million branding campaign in 2000 in order to continue running the Jared Fogle and Billy Blanks spots. Subway, which had believed the low-fat theme had lost its appeal, reportedly was surprised by the success of the campaign. Carroll told Advertising Age, ‘‘We’ve been doing low-fat for 3 ½ years and did well, but driving the business 15 percent to 20 percent is unbelievable.’’ And although Subway had grown steadily since its opening in the early 1960s, the chain experienced a rapid boom following the introduction of Jared Fogle as spokesman, growing to 17,700 U.S. locations, versus 13,000 for McDonald’s by 2004. Also in 2004 Subway launched a new campaign themed ‘‘F.R.E.S.H. Steps,’’ which took aim at childhood obesity. Designed to encourage kids to strive toward a healthier lifestyle, the campaign included 11 commercials featuring Fogle and three non-actor children talking about how their lives had been changed by eating healthy food. Based on the success Fogle had connecting with consumers, both adults and children, the chain signed him on for additional advertising that was planned to continue into 2005.