Marketing Campaign Case Studies

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Hilton’s quest to forge a unified brand image occurred while many of its rival upscale hotel chains were striving to do the same. According to the Wall Street Journal, hotel occupancy rates in 1998 had reached a four year low because of overbuilding. At the same time, the industry was in the midst of a significant consolidation. Chains such as Marriott and Renaissance merged with each other to help bolster their presence on a national and global scale. The result of these agglomerations was a degree of industry-wide uniformity, as local or regional properties with their distinct characteristics, selling points, or histories, were folded into often generic multinational conglomerates. ‘‘If you ever stay in a three- or four-star hotel, they are increasingly offering more or less the same product and levels of comfort,’’ Greg Delaney, one of the creative forces behind ‘‘It Happens at the Hilton,’’ told Marketing Week. While hotels had once used such features as excellent service or a four-star dining room to differentiate themselves, by the mid-1990s, ‘‘these [were] standard in each sector,’’ noted Marketing Week. ‘‘The only way that hoteliers [could now] stand out [was] through brand building.’’
One of Hilton’s most formidable rivals was the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, which embarked on an updated global branding campaign in 1999. Created by agency Cramer Krasselt, these print ads targeted individual business and leisure travelers, meeting planners, travel agents, and corporate travel planners. While the campaign built upon Hyatt’s slogan from a pre-existing campaign, ‘‘Feel the Hyatt Touch,’’ it avoided the conventional formula of using service and traveler bonus programs as its focal point. Like Hilton, Hyatt acknowledged that ‘‘in the minds of our target audience, the difference between major hotel chains is becoming less and less apparent,’’ a Hyatt spokesperson told Advertising Age on October 19, 1998.
Another large hotelier, Holiday Inn Worldwide, had launched its first branding campaign in 1997 to support its Crowne Plaza chain of high-end hotels. This campaign, ‘‘Get to Know Us, We’ll Get to Know You,’’ used famous ‘‘business personalities . . . to give the somewhat stony corporation a relatable face,’’ explained the January 27, 1997, Brandweek. With agency Scaros & Casselman, Crowne selected celebrities who reflected the interests of its targeted guests to appear in its ads. For instance, Crowne used Armour Golf CEO Michael Magerman in a television spot that humorously showed hotel staffers so accustomed to Magerman’s indoor golfing that they gracefully avoid golf balls flying across lobby floors as a matter of course. ‘‘A lot of upscale hotel users’ principal hobby is golf,’’ Crowne’s marketing vice president told Brandweek. ‘‘Michael Magerman is an up-and-coming CEO, and, at 34, a prototypical Crowne Plaza user.’’ Other spots depicted various comparable business leaders.
Some of Hilton’s other competitors began to institute similar marketing programs as well. Marriott International, which had acquired Renaissance in 1997, consolidated its massive ad account in 1998 in order to better broadcast its message. Promus Hotels Corporation’s Doubletree and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, on the other hand, continued to stress the traditional attributes of pleasant rooms and attentive service, according to the June 28, 1999, issue of Advertising Age.


According to Advertising Age International, ‘‘It Happens at the Hilton’’ strove to appeal to people between the ages of 35 and 50 who were ‘‘active achievers among business and leisure groups.’’ It would certainly be a challenge to attract an audience this broad within the confines of a single campaign. To do so, HHC opted to use a diverse array of photographs in the ‘‘It Happens at the Hilton’’ ads in the hope that this multifaceted approach would connect with consumers on various levels. For example, HHC chose to use images of celebrities from different generations at Hilton hotels both to grab people’s attention with the famous faces and to reinforce the notion that Hilton had a long and storied history. The use of political icons such as Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill was intended to lend the campaign a particular gravitas, which was calculated to appeal to the elite business travelers Hilton wanted to reach. At the same time, the images of iconoclast John Lennon and supermodel Naomi Campbell ensured that the campaign would appear neither stuffy nor dated. In fact, the incorporation of celebrities such as these into the branding campaign let Hilton speak to a more statusconscious and upscale group of travelers. ‘‘The implied message to Hilton customers is, ‘If it happens for these people at Hilton, it can happen for me too,’ ’’ Dirks explained. In a period when affluent business and recreational travelers had a slew of hotel options, ‘‘It Happens at the Hilton’’ provided the hotel chain a certain cachet that played well to its more status-oriented guests. But Hilton was careful not to pursue this more upscale and business-oriented identity at the expense of other travelers. ‘‘We wanted consumers to know the hotel is accessible, not just for the rich and famous,’’ Ken Sakoda, a Bozell vice president, said in the October 5, 1998, issue of Advertising Age. The company therefore presented a variety of scenes of everyday people enjoying the Hilton’s amenities in order to balance the celebrity shots. Bozell also injected humor into these projects, and stressed the pleasure and convenience Hilton could bring to any vacation. In an ad for Hilton’s line of resorts, a couple is shown sprawled in lounge chairs on the beach. ‘‘Tailored vacations call for a fitting,’’ the tag line declared. By presenting reallife scenarios—such as weddings or stressed-out families in dire need of respite—Hilton made it possible for a whole other sector of consumers to relate to the scenes.


The Hilton chain had come a long way from its beginning in 1925 when Conrad Hilton built the first hotel to carry his name in Dallas, Texas. By 1998 more than 400 Hilton hotels—ranging from resorts and casinos to airport business hotels—were operating in 50 countries. The company’s 1964 decision to spin off its global properties into a separate entity, however, impeded Hilton from developing a consistent worldwide image. After Hilton’s international wing was acquired by Trans World Airlines, HHC and HIC agreed not to develop their franchises in the other’s zones. Nevertheless, the erstwhile siblings bickered over trademarks. In the early 1990s HHC had struggled to forge an identity. Pernicious price wars among upper-class hotels led HHC, and its ad agency McCann-Erickson, to craft ads focused more on price and perks than on the chain’s own attributes. The result was a frequently chaotic marketing strategy that relied heavily on special promotions, often to the detriment of HHC’s bottom line. In an effort to rectify this situation, HHC severed its relationship with McCann in 1992 and hired Daley & Associates to develop a new ad campaign. The resulting ‘‘Take Me to the Hilton’’ effort helped the company overcome some of its difficulties, but HHC was still hampered by its inability to expand in overseas markets. The burgeoning travel market, both domestically and internationally, had generated a wave of consolidations in the industry, as hotel chains teamed up in order to offer broader options to consumers. As an industry insider explained in the January 16, 1995, issue of Brandweek, ‘‘just to be a domestic brand does not insure long-term visibility.’’ HIC faced similar limitations by virtue of its exclusion from the sizeable U.S. market. Recognizing the importance of presenting a more unified front to its rivals, HHC and HIC linked their advertising, sales, loyalty programs, and development strategies, and then sought to leverage this new alliance into enhanced business opportunities.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Ownership of the Hilton Hotel brand had been split apart in 1964. As a result, the hotel chain was controlled by two distinct groups—Hilton Hotel Corporation (HHC), which held the rights to the brand in the United States, and Hilton International Company (HIC, a division of the Ladbroke Group PLC), which owned the brand abroad. Since their breakup, HHC and HIC had maintained separate marketing and public relations efforts. In 1997, however, facing intense competition in both domestic and international markets, the two companies formed the Hilton Alliance, which was committed to creating a single global image for the hotel chain. After changing the Hilton logo, the companies selected advertising agency Bozell Worldwide to produce a branding campaign that would differentiate Hilton from its competitors. The company wanted a unique message to position itself advantageously among the other massive global hotel chains competing for the patronage of business and leisure consumers. The result was the ‘‘It Happens at the Hilton’’ campaign, which debuted on October 5, 1998, and used photographs of celebrities and everyday travelers to ‘‘convey the strength of the Hilton name and its association with quality, achievement, innovation, and timeless style,’’ said Robert Dirks, the senior vice president of marketing for HHC.
Hilton allocated a budget of approximately $10 million for the first three months of the campaign, which was comprised mainly of print ads. ‘‘It Happens at the Hilton’’ sought to epitomize the Hilton experience for its audience. Unlike traditional advertising for major hotel chains, which typically focused on the nuts and bolts of the visiting experience—mainly rooms or services—
Hilton’s campaign used striking photos of past and present celebrities at various Hilton hotels. One spot featured ex-Beatle John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono during their ‘‘Bed-in for Peace’’ at the Amsterdam Hilton. Political figures Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela, as well as celebrities Larry King and Naomi Campbell, also appeared in ads bearing the ‘‘It Happens at the Hilton’’ tag line. To ensure that consumers were not alienated by a celebrity-laden campaign, however, Hilton also ran a substantial number of ads that portrayed average Hilton guests, ranging from CEOs and other business people to families on vacation. One print piece, for instance, depicted a family at a Hilton pool. ‘‘Relaxation now available in a convenient family size,’’ the copy chirped. The company’s goal was straightforward. ‘‘We want to show that so many things happen at the Hilton, from weddings to romance, and that Hilton is part of the community,’’ Dirks told Advertising Age International. Hilton declared itself pleased with the campaign’s result.


‘‘You + HP’’ was widely acknowledged as a key contributor to the ongoing transformation of the company’s image from, as Advertising Age put it, ‘‘well-regarded though stodgy into a brand akin to sexier rivals such as Sony Corp.’’ For the print insert that launched the campaign, which ‘‘cut through in a medium that HP’s rivals have dominated for decades,’’ Goodby was awarded Adweek ’s Media Plan of the Year for Best Use of Magazines. Goodby’s market research indicated that the inserts raised consumers’ likelihood to buy HP digitalimaging products by 8 percent. The 2004 television spots generated, according to Goodby and HP, more consumer feedback than either had ever gotten from an ad, and Adweek named ‘‘You + HP’’ its Campaign of the Year for 2004. TV Guide ’s praise went beyond the realm of advertising, claiming that the spot ‘‘Picture Book’’ was the best 60 seconds of television then on the air. In 2004 HP extended the ‘‘You + HP’’ concept to digital music, partnering with Apple to sell HP-branded iPods and offering iTunes software on its PCs. The iPod, an MP3 player that allowed consumers to mix and match music to suit their personalities, offered HP a further vehicle for connecting the personal-expression ethos to its brand image. A business-to-business campaign called ‘‘Change + HP’’ was likewise launched in 2004, using the company’s new cutting-edge image to appeal to information-technology decision makers in the rapidly evolving tech marketplace. ‘‘You + HP,’’ along with the umbrella ‘‘+ HP’’ idea and HP’s image, continued to evolve through 2005. Whether HP’s change in direction was a welcome one remained an open question, however, at least to the company’s board of directors. Fiorina was ousted as chief executive officer in February 2005.


‘‘You + HP’’ was launched with a 20-page print insert in the October 2, 2003, edition of USA Today. The idea of spending $10 million on such an insert, designed to run in about a dozen publications, went against the grain of traditional print advertising for photography brands, which tended to focus on maximum coverage and frequency. Because the campaign was ‘‘more lifestyleoriented than anything else,’’ as Berg told Adweek, the company ‘‘had to find a way to stand out in unique environments’’ rather than take a blanket approach to print placement. Goodby’s creative team decided that the magazines in which the insert would appear after its launch should be ones whose editorial focus celebrated the power of photography; the team thus chose such titles as Vogue, the New Yorker, People, Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, ESPN: The Magazine, GQ, Travel + Leisure, and Conde´ Nast Traveler. The inserts put the consumer at the center of HP’s message, featuring the word ‘‘You’’ in a prominent position on nearly every page, employing vibrant photo collages and statements such as ‘‘You are a point-and-shoot revolutionary with an itchy shutter finger’’ and ‘‘You are the Van Gogh of pic files.’’ The ads featured the full range of HP digital-imaging products, pointing out the brand’s coverage of the entire picture-making process but forgoing the usual listings of technical specifications.
The campaign’s initial television spots, directed by Vogel and shot in Barcelona, further underscored the revolutionary nature of digital-photography technology. In both ‘‘You’’ and ‘‘Statue,’’ people in social settings and on city streets were frozen in still frames suggesting photographs, while the scenes’ action moved on briskly and a continuous stream of individual moments were framed before dissolving back into motion. The fluidity of the movement from human interaction to still frame, along with the profusion of photographic possibilities suggested, communicated the limitless options available to the digital-camera owner while dramatizing the integration of artistic expression and ordinary life. The arresting visual effects worked with the Cure’s moody 1989 hit song ‘‘Pictures of You’’ to create, as Adweek put it, ‘‘an emotional paean to digital photography.’’ In 2004 Goodby’s creative team planned a second series of television spots to be paired with the upbeat Kinks song ‘‘Picture Book.’’ This time the challenge was to go beyond illustrating picture-taking possibilities and find a visual method for dramatizing the ease of printing photos. In a test spot filmed as his bid to direct the new series, Vogel shot himself at his desk putting empty white frames around his head while coolly singing along to the Kinks song playing in the background. Vogel then tweaked the footage until it appeared that he was effortlessly creating a series of casual self-portraits from thin air. Not only did this test ad get him the job, but it was reshot with little alteration as the 30-second spot ‘‘Franc¸ois.’’ In the spot ‘‘Picture Book’’ the principle of picking photographs out of thin air was applied to crowds of people. At the start of the commercial, two rows of people held frames to their faces, after which the frames became pictures, and then the people traded these self-portraits with one another. In ‘‘Relay’’ the photographic frame was passed like a baton between groups and individuals. Photos transformed into dynamic real-life scenes and vice versa as the frame made its way through a hypnotic flux of distinctive people and moments.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Given its sprawling portfolio HP competed with a wide range of companies, but its ‘‘You + HP’’ campaign, while leveraging and further establishing its overall brand identity, directly pitted the company against other digitalcamera manufacturers. At the time of the campaign it was number six among digital-camera vendors in the United States, well behind segment leaders Eastman Kodak Company and Sony Corporation. Kodak’s success, according to Advertising Age, was chiefly attributable to its ‘‘century-long simple stance that Kodak equals pictures.’’ Though hampered somewhat by losses in the rapidly diminishing film-photography side of its business, Kodak could claim, like HP, to offer simple solutions to the entire picture-making process, especially as PCs became unnecessary for printing. Kodak had the industry-leading photo printer as well as the industry-leading online printing and storage site (called the Kodak EasyShare Gallery), and it had kiosks at major retail stores, such as Wal-Mart and CVS, that allowed consumers yet another outlet for printing pictures. Kodak’s digital-imaging ads therefore focused on ease of use while reinforcing the company’s history of photographic excellence.
Sony likewise made appeals to consumers based on its legacy, but that legacy was one of ‘‘quality technology and cutting-edge design,’’ according to Advertising Age, rather than one of film photography. This image merged neatly with the company’s digital-imaging marketing efforts, which drew attention to the convenient size and sleekness of Sony cameras. In 2005 Sony reinforced its image by unveiling the tagline ‘‘WorryFree Digital Products,’’ orchestrating a marketing push with partner retailers to head off the concerns of first-time digitalcamera buyers and assure them that its products were simple and easy to use.


HP had a storied history of innovation and was a Fortune 100 company when Carly Fiorina took over as chief executive officer in 1999. Though the company was well known for its quality products and particularly for its printers, ‘‘it had become clear,’’ according to Advertising Age, ‘‘that HP had to do something to change its consumer image.’’ HP’s takeover of its rival Compaq in 2002—at a time when PC sales (the heart of Compaq’s business) were abysmal—raised further questions about the company’s direction in the precarious postbubble marketplace. Fiorina and Allison Johnson, HP’s senior vice president for global brand and communications, asked agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to answer these questions by showcasing the merger itself and then by focusing on other high-profile but previously unpublicized HP partnerships in a large-scale rebranding push that broke in the fall of 2002.
Ads touting the merger used an ‘‘HP + Compaq’’ graphic to show the strength of the partnership, and the ‘‘+’’ sign was then used as a unifying visual symbol in the larger branding campaign, which extolled HP’s contributions to an impressive array of corporate and institutional partners. The campaign was launched with ‘‘Anthem,’’ a television spot that, as Creativity magazine noted, ‘‘linked HP technology to bigger and cooler things—Dreamworks’ imagemaking, FedEx’s efficiency, BMW’s Formula 1 need for speed.’’ Other memorable ads were ‘‘Restore,’’ which brought figures from a Dutch master painting to life in order to illustrate the role HP played in restoring art for London’s National Gallery, and ‘‘The Next Shift,’’ which featured iconic toys—Slinky, Elmo, Spiderman, and others—commuting to work in Manhattan as a way of illustrating HP’s involvement in keeping Toys ‘‘R’’ Us stores stocked and ready for business. Creativity selected Goodby’s HP branding work as its campaign of the year for 2003, arguing that the spots had worked together to ‘‘render formerly square HP a magnetic new personality.’’
Meanwhile the rapid rise in popularity of digital cameras presented one of the few bright spots in the dismal technology sectors of the struggling American economy. As the 2003 holiday season approached, digital cameras were poised to overtake traditional cameras in yearly sales for the first time. Though HP was not known for its cameras, its wide portfolio of products meant that it was positioned to offer consumers an integrated system for home digital photography.


Long known as a reliable but predictable maker of computer printers, Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) was, in 2003, engaged in a recasting of its moribund image, a project initiated by HP’s chief executive officer, Carly Fiorina, after a divisive 2002 merger with computer company Compaq. That year HP unveiled its most ambitious consumer advertising campaign ever. The new campaign, called ‘‘You + HP,’’ featured HP’s digital cameras and imaging products, a segment of the Fortune 100 company’s operations that was seen as a major growth opportunity.
‘‘You + HP’’ supplemented an ongoing enterprise campaign that had introduced the ‘‘+’’ graphic as a means of showcasing HP’s partnerships with other companies and institutions and that further positioned the old-line company as a forward-looking, glamorous company in tune with twenty-first-century lifestyles. Developed by HP’s main U.S. advertising agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco, the campaign broke in October 2003 with the risky use of 20-page print inserts, first in USA Today and later in trendsetting magazines, and went on to feature some of the most talked-about television spots of the time. Directed by Franc¸ois Vogel, the television spots dramatized the digital-photography revolution with visuals integrating still frames and live action, while catchy pop music by the Cure (in the campaign’s first year) and the Kinks (in the second year) played as the spots’ sound track.
The print and television portions of ‘‘You + HP’’ were well received by industry commentators as well as the general public, and the campaign was credited with effectively updating HP’s image for a new generation of consumers. The campaign continued to evolve, and the company’s broader marketing efforts kept the ‘‘+ HP’’ idea as their starting point. HP’s change in direction, however, was not welcomed by all; the company’s board of directors ousted Fiorina in 2005.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Independent research showed that the ads were successful in changing the perceptions of consumers. According to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, studies showed that the ads had helped Hewlett-Packard come to be perceived as a company that ‘‘empowers people to ‘make exciting things happen.’ ’’ People’s awareness that Hewlett-Packard made more than just printers also increased. In March 1998 the Business Journal of San Jose reported that Hewlett-Packard led the market as the top seller of workstations running off Microsoft Windows. It sold nearly 155,000 Windows-based workstations, or 42 percent of the market, in 1997. The journal attributed part of Hewlett-Packard’s success to the ‘‘Expanding Possibilities’’ campaign.
The original three ‘‘Expanding Possibilities’’ spots won two Icon Awards, and ‘‘Buck’’ won a silver Clio.


To demonstrate the excitement of its new campaign, Hewlett-Packard hosted a gala announcement event in San Francisco on November 11, 1997. At the kickoff event Hewlett-Packard chairman Platt described the company’s image as ‘‘a lab coat that was empty.’’ The company had excelled at engineering prowess but never at savvy self-promotion. The new campaign aimed to add to the company’s strengths a new spirit of excitement, creativity, and innovation. Along with the new advertising, Hewlett-Packard introduced new product packaging, in-store merchandising, and vending machines for its ink-jet printer supplies.
The introduction of the ‘‘Expanding Possibilities’’ campaign meant dropping Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ award-winning campaign that used the tag line ‘‘Built by engineers. Used by normal people.’’ One reason for the switch was to dispel the notion that the company was dominated by engineers. ‘‘The consumer brand strategy and advertising campaign aim to make the HP brand more relevant to consumers by revealing the company’s dynamic side and dispelling the idea that HP is only a printer company,’’ said the firm’s Antonio Perez. ‘‘People used to say HP was a great stealth marketer,’’ said Jill Kramer, the company’s marketing communications manager, in Adweek. ‘‘There’s been growing recognition with HP that our brand is truly an asset and that is something we should be investing in. We are becoming more visible and more aggressive.’’ Part of the reason for a move toward consumers was the rapid pace of change. With technology and products evolving so quickly, consumers were easily confused and often felt behind the times. Executives at Hewlett-Packard felt that a finely honed brand identity might attract consumers looking for a guide through the digital and technology jungle. In addition, the company recognized that the market for traditional business products was expanding to include in-home and consumer use. Lower-cost, higher-quality printers, scanners, and all-inone machines made the products attractive outside the typical corporate or business setting. The campaign also called attention to Hewlett-Packard’s Internet products, something it had been producing for years but had never promoted to the public.
Hewlett-Packard sometimes referred to the new campaign as ‘‘the real life campaign’’ because the strategy was to shine the spotlight on people not usually associated with technology. Grandparents and children were highlighted, and they shared their stories in their own words. The intent was not just to show what people could do with Hewlett-Packard products but also to demonstrate what the products could help people achieve. Hewlett-Packard products were presented as engines for consumers’ creative thinking. Although Hewlett-Packard wanted to change its image with the ‘‘Expanding Possibilities’’ campaign, there were certain elements in its marketing effort and image that were retained. The company logo and the display of the Hewlett-Packard name with the logo remained the same. The company also maintained continuity with its advertising agencies. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners continued handling the ads for Hewlett-Packard printers and scanners and for the company’s other computer equipment. Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising continued the advertising for the company’s Pavilion line of personal computers, and Winkler Advertising continued to create the company’s ads for laser printer supplies.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


In 1997 and 1998 the consumer demand for sub-$1,000 computers continued to erode profit margins throughout the industry. Many major computer manufacturers responded by going after small and medium-sized businesses and by launching large-scale e-business ventures. The top marketers supported these moves with glossy multi-million-dollar brand advertising campaigns. IBM made the first and most dramatic move in this direction with a $130 million e-business initiative that targeted businesses using the Internet.
Among Hewlett-Packard’s other competitors were Compaq, Dell, and Apple. Compaq spent some $102 million on advertising in 1997 and planned to double the amount in 1998, when it launched its first global brand campaign. Dell spent $43 million on ads in 1997 and planned to double the amount in 1998 to brand itself as the originator and leader in selling directly to the consumer and in providing technical support services to its customers. Apple spent $47 million on its ‘‘Think Different’’ campaign, which aimed to link the company’s computers with Einstein, Picasso, and other creative people.


The primary target of the initial ‘‘Expanding Possibilities’’ ads was families with children, but the company also wanted to become better known among small businesses, microbusinesses, and the owners of home businesses. Both business owners and workers were targeted. In Canada, Hewlett-Packard made a direct appeal to entrepreneurs and the self-employed. According to Statistics Canada, the latter group numbered 1.8 million, up 28 percent from 1991 to 1998.


Two Stanford University engineers, William Hewlett and David Packard, founded the company with $538 in a Palo Alto garage in 1939. Their first major customer, Walt Disney, bought oscillators to help make his film Fantasia. In the 1970s and 1980s Hewlett-Packard became known as an entrepreneurial high-tech company, and it has been credited with establishing Silicon Valley. For years it made the lists of America’s best-managed companies. By the late 1980s, however, the company seemed entrapped in a bureaucratic jungle, with burdensome decision making by consensus and other organizational problems. In 1990 Hewlett-Packard was reorganized, and cost-cutting measures included voluntary severance and early-retirement programs. The company’s single sales force was divided by product lines, and administrative and manufacturing areas were consolidated.
During its history Hewlett-Packard had always been much better known in the business community than among general consumers. It was the world’s second largest computer supplier and a leading provider of electronic products and systems for computing, measurement, and communications. But it did not use advertising to appeal directly to consumers. Lewis Platt, then the chairman, president, and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, said that 18 months of focus group testing showed that the public felt the company to be trustworthy and reliable but did not view it as innovative. Hewlett-Packard’s reputation stemmed from its engineeringdominated culture, and while people judged its products to be of high quality, they perceived the company as being technical and impersonal.
In addition, the company’s decentralized structure contributed to its fragmented marketing efforts and prevented it from taking full advantage of consumer interactions. For example, the owners of Hewlett-Packard’s 75 million ink-jet printers bought from two to five new cartridges a year, but the company did not have a plan to take advantage of these customer contacts. Hewlett-Packard’s vision of the future included a blending of consumer electronics, including PCs and communications and entertainment products, with new product categories emerging. The company’s goal was to prepare to become the largest consumer electronics supplier by the early 2000s. This would mean becoming much better known among consumers. As the technology battleground moved into the home, however, Hewlett-Packard had to prepare to compete with electronics and entertainment companies such as Sony and General Electric that already had a much higher profile with consumers and that were viewed in more positive terms.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Although it was widely known and respected in the business world for its solid engineering and reliable products, Hewlett-Packard, a huge company with 121,900 employees and revenues of $42.9 billion in 1997, found itself relatively unknown to the general public. Beginning in the late 1990s, Hewlett-Packard sought to expand its presence in the consumer market. To do so, the company initiated a $75 million consumer brand strategy that included an advertising campaign called ‘‘Expanding Possibilities.’’ It was the first time in Hewlett-Packard’s 60-year history that it had tried to shed its reputation as an engineering and business firm for a more consumeroriented image. In 1997 the consumer business accounted for only a quarter of Hewlett-Packard’s revenue, but the company saw this segment as being the place where growth would come most rapidly. As the general public became more focused on technology, Hewlett-Packard wanted to have a more prominent place in the consumer’s mind.
The ‘‘Expanding Possibilities’’ campaign first appeared in the United States on November 11, 1997, in the form of three television spots that featured color printing applications people could employ in everyday situations. The ads ran through January 1998. They were aired in prime time on CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, A&E, and the Discovery Channel. In Canada the spots ran on the Hockey Night, Bravo!, Showcase, Discover, and Life Network channels. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco created the spots. The original ‘‘Expanding Possibilities’’ campaign was budgeted at $15 million for the United States and at $40 million globally.
The ‘‘Mason’’ spot showed a couple capturing their newborn baby’s wrinkled image on a Hewlett-Packard digital camera. The father downloaded the image onto a Hewlett-Packard computer, created a birth announcement, and E-mailed it to relatives. ‘‘Herta’’ featured a grandmother who took family photographs off the wall, scanned them into her Hewlett-Packard PC, and made a family history book for her children and grandchildren. ‘‘Buck’’ centered on a former Negro Leagues baseball player, Buck O’Neil, and a young friend who created their own baseball cards with O’Neil’s Hewlett-Packard scanner, PC, and printer and then sold them on the Internet.
In March 1998 Hewlett-Packard added a $12 million brand campaign with two more television spots and a print element, all created by Saatchi & Saatchi of San Francisco. The two 30-second spots ran during sports and news programs in the company’s top 10 regional markets in the United States. The schedule later included national exposure on CNN, ESPN, the Discovery Channel, and the Learning Channel. This round of the campaign, unlike the original ads, was aimed toward businesses. In one spot, for example, an airline maintenance worker discovered that it would take five months to produce a revised manual telling workers not to remove the plug in a plane’s oil pan. As an alternative, he quickly updated the manual via the Internet. The print ads appeared in the Wall Street Journal for a month. A third group of ‘‘Expanding Possibilities’’ ads that were released in October 1998 used print media, on-line services, and radio to reach corporate customers, small businesses, home users, and students.


The ‘‘Built by Engineers, Used by Ordinary People’’ campaign was pronounced an unqualified success by the company. Post-campaign quantitative research showed that the campaign had been very effective in reaching the desired targets. Those assessments were confirmed by the number of awards the campaign won during 1996 and 1997.
At the ICON Awards, sponsored by Marketing Computers and Business Week to honor excellence in high technology marketing and advertising, ‘‘Built by Engineers’’ won 1996 Best of Show ICONs for ‘‘Babysitter,’’ ‘‘Room,’’ and ‘‘Mower’’; platinum in the best advertising campaign, broadcast category; and gold in the best advertising/television campaign category. At the international Clio Awards, which recognize excellence and creativity in consumer advertising, ‘‘Babysitter,’’ ‘‘Room,’’ and ‘‘Mower’’ won best national campaign certificates, and ‘‘Baby-sitter’’ was also a certificate winner. In addition, Adweek, which publishes an annual list of the 10 best spots of the year, declared ‘‘Baby-sitter’’ to be one of the best spots of 1996. The spots won other awards as well, both in local advertising industry shows, such as the San Francisco Show, and in New York-based shows, such as The One Show.
In Europe the campaign also won a Directors and Art Directors Silver Pencil Award in London for ‘‘Babysitter.’’ Finally, ‘‘Baby-sitter’’ won a Silver Lion at the Cannes Advertising Festival.
The Red Sky interactive ad also garnered acclaim, in this case from critics of Internet advertising. Microscope, a weekly online Web ad review magazine, rated the banner ad ‘‘a perfect 10’’ and called it ‘‘the most attentiongetting ad on the Web.’’ PC World followed suit, awarding it the number one position in PC World ’s Top 10 Advertiser Achievement Awards. The ad went on to win a Platinum Award in the 1997 Marketing Computers/Business Week ICON Award for the multimedia category.


The Hewlett-Packard advertising account had been held since 1988 by Saatchi & Saatchi in San Francisco, but the company decided against asking them to carry out the new campaign. According to the San Jose Business Journal, this was partially because of a 1995 print campaign that cost more than $30 million but failed to leave any lasting impression on consumers. Arlene King, peripherals-advertising manager at Hewlett-Packard, had another explanation for the move. ‘‘We wanted to get more visible advertising than we did in the past. We had been with Saatchi for eight years and we were becoming too alike.’’ In May 1996 HP chose Goodby Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco to head the $40 million printer advertising account (Saatchi did, however, retain the PC portion of the Hewlett-Packard account). Goodby Silverstein & Partners had previously been known for creative and popular campaigns such as the ‘‘Got Milk?’’ ads for the California Milk Processor Board.
In consumer research, Goodby Silverstein found that most people associated Hewlett-Packard with technical strength and reliability. Therefore, the new campaign needed to link Hewlett-Packard’s heritage as an engineering company and its reputation for building reliable products with the usefulness of HP products in ‘‘ordinary’’ situations. In short, the challenge was to humanize the face of technical prowess by giving complicated engineering a human face.
The $10.5 million Goodby Silverstein campaign for Hewlett-Packard, ‘‘Built by Engineers, Used by Ordinary People,’’ solved the dilemma by poking gentle fun at its own engineers while illustrating the excellence of HP products, particularly the 693 DeskJet printer, for use in the home, and the LaserJet 5si Mopier (multiple originals copier), a network printer for large-scale commercial use.
The year-long campaign was two-pronged, targeting both individual consumers and corporate entities. It featured television spots that ran from late November 1996 through late February 1997 on CNN and national networks. Those were supplemented by print ads in publications like Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Fortune, PC Magazine, PC Week, and PC Computing that ran beyond the close of the television segment. In addition, the San Francisco-based interactive ad agency Red Sky developed an interactive ad that could be viewed on the Internet though the end of February 1997.
The Goodby Silverstein television spots showed both the ordinary and the extraordinary uses to which Hewlett-Packard printers can be put. In ‘‘Mower,’’ the first of the ‘‘corporate side ads,’’ a nerdy-looking announcer sporting a bow tie lists what a Mopier can do (print, staple, collate) and then jokes that the only thing it cannot do is mow the lawn. That serves as enough of a challenge to HP engineers, who immediately begin reconfiguring the printer. In the next scene the Mopier is turned on its side charging around an overgrown field, having been transformed by the company’s engineers into a lawnmower.
In a second spot, ‘‘Translation,’’ the interviewer asks an HP engineer to explain exactly how a Mopier works. The engineer answers in highly technical jargon, which is translated for the layperson in a running voice-over. In both of these spots the engineers were actual Hewlett-Packard employees.
In the consumer-oriented spots, the usefulness of HP products in personal situations was demonstrated. In the ‘‘Baby-sitter’’ spot, an elderly man babysitting his infant granddaughter panics when she wakes up and begins to cry for her mother. Suddenly he has a brilliant idea: he grabs a picture of the mother and turns on his DeskJet printer. When the mother returns, she sees the grandfather—with a color print of the mother pasted on his face—holding the peacefully sleeping baby. In a similar ad (‘‘Room’’), a teenager whose mother checks up on him through the key hole on his bedroom door fools her into thinking he has finally cleaned his extremely messy room by making a color printout of a picture of the room in a pristine state and positioning it just beyond the key hole.
The interactive ad developed by Red Sky was an extension of the television and print campaign into the electronic medium. It carried on the playfulness of the television spots but was also very different, using as it did the interactive capabilities of online advertising. As Joel Hladecek, Red Sky’s chief creative director, told the San Francisco Business Times, ‘‘There are two rules of advertising in this medium. The audience has the ability to choose what it’s interested in, and people will avoid advertising if they can.’’
Red Sky responded by burying the advertising message within entertainment. Their 1997 Pong advertising banner for Hewlett-Packard, promoting the LaserJet Mopier, played off the print and television tag line. Viewers used Shockwave technology to play games of Pong with an engineer named Jerry. They were initially drawn to the ad by the familiar sound of a ping-pong game. They then discovered that the ad was more than just a banner: it was an interactive game in which they could use their mouse to actually play along. The ad ran through February 1997 at various sites.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Although Hewlett-Packard remained the market leader for printers, its largest competitors—Canon, Xerox, and Lexmark—were making strenuous efforts to narrow the gap. Also, as high technology moved into people’s living rooms, the company saw that other makers of computers and electronic goods—such as Microsoft and Apple, among others—had been able to position themselves as interesting and cutting edge while Hewlett-Packard was viewed by consumers as reliable but stodgy. Canon, the giant Japanese maker of business machines, cameras, and other optical products, presented a formidable challenge to Hewlett-Packard with its line of laser and BubbleJet printers. Marketing its products under the tag line ‘‘You can with a Canon,’’ the company experienced strong growth in its printers during 1997. Canon targeted businesses with such products as the Digital GP215, a multifunctional digital device for networked workgroups that printed, faxed, copied, and scanned. The company also introduced the MultiPASS L90, another multifunctional system, and a new color laser printer, the CLBP 360PS. The BubbleJet continued to defend its market share with a very small and light personal model, the BJC-50, weighing only 900 grams. Xerox Corporation, which introduced the first (manually operated) commercial xerographic product in 1949 and the first automatic office copier in 1959, made its first laser printer in 1977 and by 1991 was developing an extensive printer line. To highlight the company’s evolution from copy machines to a wide range of business products, Xerox in 1994 adopted the tag line ‘‘The Document Company, Xerox’’ as its new corporate signature. As a document company, Xerox in 1997 introduced an array of specialized printer products for business, including a color printer for signs, banners, and billboards; a printer designed specifically for engineering needs; and the Xerox Productivity Centre System, which allowed users to scan, store, manage, electronically collate, distribute, print, and copy wide-format documents such as those used by architects, mapmakers, and graphic artists. Lexmark brought up the rear in this august assemblage, but it was able to chip away at the other companies’ lead during 1997. Lexmark, based in Lexington, Kentucky, was smaller than its competitors and had a narrower product range. It concentrated on laser, ink jet, and dot matrix printers and associated supplies that were comparable but lower-priced than Hewlett-Packard models. In November 1997 Lexmark won the first Annual Peripherals Excellence Award for network laser printers, beating out Hewlett-Packard and Apple.


Although Hewlett-Packard held its position as the world’s leading supplier of hard-copy products (LaserJet and DeskJet printers, DesignJet large-format printers and plotters, ScanJet scanners, OfficeJet printer-fax-copiers, CopyJet color printer-copiers, and HP FAX facsimile machines), the company became concerned in 1996 that it projected an image too cold and technological for the home-electronics user to relate to. Since HP had a growing customer base of individual consumers, it decided to focus on making its technology seem more accessible.
The resulting television and print advertising in the ‘‘Built by Engineers, Used by Ordinary People’’ campaign targeted two audiences: families with children and business professionals, particularly corporate executives, management information system (MIS) experts, and end users. Creative elements were designed to appeal to low-end users while at the same time showing off the products’ high-tech features to viewers well versed in information technology.


Like many pioneering companies of the 20th century, Hewlett-Packard was born in a garage. It was founded by engineers David Packard and Bill Hewlett in 1938. At the time the mission was to develop and market a resistance-capacity audio oscillator that could be used to test sound equipment. Hewlett and Packard’s $538 in founding capital carried them through until the Walt Disney studios ordered eight of their devices. Then in 1941 the United States entered the Second World War, and an immediate overwhelming need for HP’s instruments was created. After the war ended, the company lost its mainstay government orders and decided to seek clients in the private sector. Hewlett-Packard introduced its measuring devices into the flourishing post-war electronics industry. In 1972 the company pioneered personal computing with the world’s first handheld scientific calculator, and it then went on to introduce the first desktop mainframe (in 1982) and the LaserJet printer (the first and most prominent of a line of printers for business and home), as well as copiers and scanners.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


In early 1996 the Hewlett-Packard Company began to rethink its role in the electronics products industry. Undisputedly the market leader for printers and other electronic products, Hewlett-Packard (HP) nevertheless saw the competition at its heels. Even more important, as technology became more ‘‘personalized’’ and accessible to the average person, the company was not sure it could rely solely on its history as a purveyor of electronic goods to businesses and institutions.
Hewlett-Packard turned to the San Francisco advertising firm Goodby Silverstein & Partners to create an ad campaign that would give it a more human face and present it as a company responsive to the needs of its customers. Goodby Silverstein designed ‘‘Built by Engineers, Used by Ordinary People,’’ a campaign focusing on the new Mopier business printer and the 690 series of DeskJet printers for the home. The campaign, which ran from late 1996 until about the middle of 1997, was designed to appeal to both HP’s core customers—businesses—and to recreational or home users of electronics. The consumer ads showed people in situations that could easily be made simpler by the use of Hewlett-Packard products, while the business ads showed the imagination and flexibility of HP’s engineering capacity.


The effectiveness of the ‘‘There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s’’ campaign was demonstrated in tracking and copy tests conducted by ad agency Ogilvy & Mather. ‘‘It’s run for almost ten years, and it’s a campaign that really worked. Consumers identify with it,’’ said Amy Robertson, an account executive with the agency. The tests showed that people remembered the advertisements, related to them, and associated them with the Reese’s brand.
With a growth rate of 5.4 percent, the retailconfectionery category was one of the most rapidly expanding food markets in the United States in 1997. Hershey had record net sales of about $4.3 billion, up from about $4 billion in 1996, and the company said that its candy business in North America was the chief contributor to the increase in earnings. At the end of 1997 Hershey was preparing a new television and print advertising campaign, coupons, and a sampling promotion to introduce another line extension, ReeseSticks wafer bars, in February 1998.
After a successful 15-year run, in 2002 the ‘‘There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s’’ campaign was replaced. A new campaign created by Ogilvy & Mather had the theme and tagline ‘‘Get Lost in a Reese’s.’’ It targeted young men ages 18–24 who typically enjoyed candy on the run, but it also appealed to consumers in other age groups. In addition to the new campaign, to help the brand stay relevant to consumers the company updated its product packaging and introduced another line extension: FastBreak candy bars. ‘‘Get Lost in a Reese’s’’ supported the launch of FastBreak.


Previous marketing had first stressed the two main ingredients of Reese’s—chocolate and peanut butter—as individual elements. Next, the combination of the two was emphasized. In 1987, however, the company’s research revealed that consumers could not replicate Reese’s by combining chocolate and peanut butter at home. The product’s unique taste was identified as a key selling point. In addition, the research showed that many consumers had peculiar ways of eating Reese’s peanut butter cups. The ‘‘There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s’’ campaign featured the humor that consumers expected of the brand, and they were strongly focused on the product.
The first six commercials in the campaign began airing in 1988, and additional spots were released in waves. Five of them ran in 1997. The campaign initially consisted of television commercials and included print ads after 1994. One print advertisement showed a Reese’s peanut butter cup with four holes that made it look like a button. The caption read, ‘‘I make my own special alterations. (William Hamilton, Tailor).’’ In another print ad the candy had been nibbled into the shape of the United States. The caption said, ‘‘I start in Seattle and work my way around. (Miss Moore, Geography Teacher.)’’ A third showed a vampire leaving two fang marks where he had sucked the peanut-butter center out through the chocolate shell. The campaign featured a lively cast of additional characters, including a barber, a dragon, a secret agent, a private detective, a golfer, an Internal Revenue Service agent, a postal worker, and a mentalist. Television spots included one that began with an announcer saying, ‘‘How domino champ Charlie Armstrong eats a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.’’ A drum roll accompanied a close-up of a little boy peering around a row of carefully balanced candy packages. To the sound of falling dominoes, the boy tipped over the first package, and the camera followed the rapidly falling Reese’s across the table until the last package flipped one piece of candy into the boy’s hand. The boy said, ‘‘Yeah.’’ Clapping and cheers were heard in the background. As the camera zoomed in on two peanut butter cups and their wrapper, the announcer concluded, ‘‘There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s.’’ Another began with an announcer saying, ‘‘How librarian Harriet Causbie eats a Reese’s peanut butter cup.’’ The words also appeared on the screen in gold letters against an orange and chocolate-brown background, the trademark colors of Reese’s candies. The scene then shifted to a library, where a serious woman in a gray suit sat at her desk. A sign over her head said, ‘‘Quiet please.’’ She held a piece of candy and shook her finger at the camera as she whispered, ‘‘I eat them as quietly as I can.’’ At that moment the sign fell with a crash, but she continued eating her candy. The commercial ended with a view of two peanut butter cups and their wrapper against an orange and brown background. A voice-over stated, ‘‘There’s no wrong way—Shhh—to eat a Reese’s.’’
In March 1997 Hershey began promoting a new product in the Reese’s line, Reese’s Crunchy Cookie Cups, with an estimated $10 million advertising campaign that appeared in print media and on television. Reese’s Crunchy Cookie Cups consisted of peanut butter, milk chocolate, and a chocolate cookie, which gave the product an interesting texture. In April the company distributed 50 million coupons and 8 million free samples of the new product. Later in the year the cookie cups were included in the ‘‘There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s’’ campaign. Another line extension, the Reese’s Nutrageous candy bar, had been introduced in 1994. It received $9.5 million for advertising in 1995 and $5.4 million for the first six months of 1996. In comparison, the company spent $16.2 million to advertise regular and crunchy Reese’s peanut butter cups in 1995 and $9.2 million for the first six months of 1996.

Monday, April 26, 2010


In the 1990s the U.S. retail chocolate industry was worth $13 billion annually, according to the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, and most of the top-selling chocolate candies were made by either Hershey or Mars, Inc., a private company owned by one of the nation’s wealthiest families. Hoover’s Company Capsules placed the value of the Mars company at $13 billion. The Arizona Republic reported that Mars had more than $1 billion in annual sales in 1997. The company’s products included M&M’s, Snickers, Three Musketeers, Milky Way, Skittles, and Starburst candies; Twix snacks;
Uncle Ben’s rice; and several brands of pet food. Hershey led the overall candy market in the United States, and Mars was second. According to Candy Industry Magazine, Reese’s peanut butter cups were the fourth most popular chocolate candy bar in 1997, with 9 percent of the market. M&M’s Chocolate Candies were the leading chocolate candy worldwide and had 16 percent of the market in the United States. Hershey’s chocolate bars had 10 percent; Snickers bars had 8 percent;
Butterfinger bars and York Peppermint Patties each had 4 percent; Crunch bars, Three Musketeers bars, and Russell Stover chocolate bars each had 3 percent; and Reese’s Nutrageous bars had 2 percent. Hershey’s Kisses and Kit Kat bars, made by Hershey, were also popular. The top-selling Mars brand and Reese’s main competitor, M&M’s, had a series of enormously successful campaigns. In the past the brand had been marketed with the tagline ‘‘M&M’s Melt in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands.’’ In a 1996 promotion consumers had voted to replace tan M&M’s with blue. Advertising in 1997 featured animated M&M characters named Red, Yellow, and Blue to represent the three main colors of M&M’s. Mars also designed its Internet site to look like a tour of a movie studio where each animated character had a trailer full of photographs and other fanciful possessions. In 1997 Mars responded to consumer suggestions and added a female Green character, and the ads featuring her played on the old myth that green M&M’s were an aphrodisiac. The campaign featuring these characters included celebrities such as Dennis Miller, B.B. King, and Tia Carerre playfully interacting with the M&M’s. The celebrities helped draw the attention of adult audiences, but the animated characters took center stage in the commercials. In a 1996 survey by USA Today ’s Ad Track the commercials ranked second out of more than 60 campaigns in the poll, with 45 percent of respondents saying they ‘‘liked the ads a lot.’’ In a 1997 survey by the American Marketing Association, fifth-grade students in Dallas listed spots for M&M’s among their favorite commercials. Competitive Media Reporting calculated that Mars spent about $20 million on television commercials for M&M’s during the first half of 1996. The other top-selling Mars candy, Snickers, also had a popular campaign attached to it. Snickers had long been advertised as the perfect snack to satisfy hunger, but since 1995 the message had taken on a more lighthearted slant. A strategy revolving around the tagline ‘‘Hungry? Why Wait?’’ was developed to target males 18 to 22 years old, and more commercials were aired during sports programs on television. In one spot an elderly man had just finished painting a giant-size logo of the Chiefs football team between a pair of goalposts when a player commented, ‘‘Hey, that’s great. But who are the Chefs?’’ The painter stared at the misspelling, muttered ‘‘Great googily moogily!’’ and took comfort in a Snickers bar as he resigned himself to the fact that the entire logo would have to be repainted. A voice-over said, ‘‘Not going anywhere for a while? Grab a Snickers.’’ In another spot a coach informed a football team, ‘‘Listen up. This year we gotta be a little more ‘politically correct’ with the team prayer.’’ A priest began the prayer, but the coach interrupted him to let a Rabbi take over, then a Native American shaman, a mystic from India, an Eastern Orthodox priest, and a long line of other religious leaders. ‘‘Not going anywhere for a while?’’ asked the announcer. ‘‘Grab a Snickers.’’ The ‘‘Team Prayer’’ spot was among the 10 most popular ads of 1997, according to a survey by USA Today ’s Ad Track. Nearly a third of respondents said they ‘‘liked the ad a lot,’’ and 26 percent said it was effective. About 40 percent of consumers with household incomes of at least $50,000 said they liked the campaign. Advertising Age reported that Snickers generated sales of $277 million from March 1997 to March 1998, an increase of 2.3 percent from the previous year. Competitive Media Reporting estimated that the 1996 advertising budget for Snickers was $42.2 million.


Because advertisements for candy had to appeal to consumers of all ages, they tended to be amusing and offbeat. A catchy jingle that children would sing at school was part of many successful campaigns. According to some experts, adult consumers were most apt to buy candy that was advertised humorously regardless of the price or taste of the product. The ‘‘There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s’’ campaign used humor to emphasize the fact that peanut butter cups were different and more complex than some other types of candy and that they could be eaten in various ways. In fact, the company had discovered that many consumers had formed a strong emotional attachment to Reese’s peanut butter cups and often ate them ritualistically. The act of consuming a rich, flavorful candy with a variety of textures could be a highly satisfying experience. The advertising campaign emphasized this individuality and self-indulgence in a lighthearted way. In 1995 the United States ranked eighth in the world for total annual chocolate consumption. Americans ate a total of 3.1 billion pounds of chocolate in 1996. The average American ate 11.7 pounds of chocolate that year, up from 9.7 pounds in 1983. The average per capita consumption of all candy was 24.3 pounds, up from 17.9 in 1983. Candy sales climbed during the Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day seasons.


Reese’s peanut butter cups were invented in the 1920s by Harry Burnett Reese, who had worked at the dairy of Milton S. Hershey, the founder of Hershey Foods Corporation. Inspired by Hershey’s success, Reese quit his dairy job and founded the H.B. Reese Candy Company. Reese’s peanut butter cups, the company’s most popular product, were shells of Hershey’s milk chocolate filled with specially processed peanut butter. In 1963 the company was sold to Hershey for $23.5 million. The Reese’s brand grew steadily and was expanded to include Reese’s Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups, Reese’s Pieces, Reese’s Nutrageous candy bars, peanut butter Easter eggs and Christmas trees, peanut butter in a jar, baking bits, and peanut-butter-puffs cereal. Reese’s became the top seller among the Hershey brands, which included Hershey’s Kisses, Kit Kat chocolate bars, York Peppermint Patties, and Twizzlers licorice. In 1996 Hershey also acquired Leaf North America, which made Jolly Rancher, Milk Duds, Whoppers, and PayDay candies. In addition, Hershey sold chocolate syrup, ice-cream toppings, baking products, pasta, peanut butter, milk products, and other foods.
From 1969 to 1988 the tagline in two advertising campaigns for Reese’s peanut butter cups was ‘‘Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together.’’ Commercials

Friday, March 26, 2010


The Hershey Company acquired the H.B. Reese Candy Company in 1963, and with the acquisition came a popular peanut-butter-filled, chocolate-coated candy, Reese’s peanut butter cups. The Reese’s brand expanded over time to include Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups, Reese’s Nutrageous candy bar, and Reese’s Pieces, which in 1982 were made famous as the preferred treat of a lovable alien in the movie E.T. the Extraterrestrial. For almost 20 years, from 1969 to 1988, Hershey promoted its Reese’s peanut butter cups with the familiar tagline ‘‘Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together’’ and with humorous television spots. That changed after research revealed that people had developed various methods of eating Reese’s peanut butter cups.
After reviewing the research, the company’s ad agency, Ogilvy & Mather of New York, created a series of humorous TV spots and print ads that emphasized the unique character of peanut butter cups and the people who ate them. Themed ‘‘There’s No WrongWay to Eat a Reese’s,’’ the campaign began in 1988, with new advertisements introduced each year through the 1990s. Some played up the shape or composition of the candy, while others hinged entirely on the traits of the person eating the peanut butter cup. One print ad depicted four Reese’s peanut butter cups with bites taken out of them to make them look like the four phases of the moon. The caption said, ‘‘I eat them in phases. (Richard Chandler, Astronomer).’’ The positive reactions to the new campaign showed that, while its long-running predecessor was a success, consumers had been ready for a change. As the ‘‘There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s’’ campaign continued what would become a nearly 15-year run, studies conducted by the agency revealed that consumers enjoyed the ads, related to them, and connected them with the Reese’s brand. In the late 1990s an agency executive commented that, even after 10 years, the campaign ‘‘really worked.’’


Hershey originally picked ReeseSticks as the most promising contender among a field of four new products made with wafers and peanut butter. The company spent three years conducting focus groups, distributing free samples in locations such as shopping malls, and surveying several hundred consumers as it adjusted the recipe to achieve the most popular balance of chocolate, peanut butter, and wafers. Hundreds of names, including ‘‘Reeskies,’’ were considered before the product was christened. The New York office of Ogilvy & Mather created advertisements that emphasized the new line extension’s taste, texture, and connection to the familiar Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. In a 15-second television commercial called ‘‘Sawmill,’’ the blade of a buzzsaw—shaped like a round Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup on its side—sliced a crisp wafer in half. The chocolate and peanut butter of the blade melted in the process and coated the divided wafer to form two ReeseSticks. The commercial included the tag line ‘‘The Crisp You Can’t Resist!’’ The Los Angeles Times said that during the week of April 13-19, commercials for ReeseSticks aired 16 times on daytime network television, placing the message in 70 million homes. In addition to television commercials, the national launch of ReeseSticks in February 1998 was supported by advertisements in magazines such as People, and Sports Illustrated. More than 10 million samples of the product were given away at retail outlets, and 40 million coupons were either attached to the product’s packaging or inserted in Parade magazine in April. Standard packages of ReeseSticks sold for about 50 cents, but to encourage consumers to sample the new candy, trial-size ReeseSticks were priced at 25 cents for a short time after the product’s launch. Beginning in April some of the product’s packaging featured a tie-in to the motion picture Godzilla, which was scheduled for release on Memorial Day. When the National Football League season started, Hershey included ReeseSticks in its second annual $1 Million Kick promotion, which offered consumers an opportunity to kick a field goal during the Super Bowl. ‘‘The Crisp You Can’t Resist’’ ad ran in conjunction with the popular ‘‘There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s’’ campaign, which promoted Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and the Reese’s brand in general. Hershey sometimes alternated the two campaigns in consecutive issues of magazines such as Reader’s Digest. Advertising Age reported that Hershey spent $86.2 million to advertise its candies in 1998, up from $84.5 million in 1997, with $60.6 million going toward television commercials and $23.3 million going toward print ads. Hershey budgeted an estimated $15 million for ‘‘The Crisp You Can’t Resist!’’ in 1998.


Hershey led the U.S. candy industry in 1997 with sales of $4.3 billion. Its closest rival was Mars, Inc., which owned brands such as M&M’s Chocolate Candies, Snickers, Twix, 3 Musketeers, and Milky Way. In third place was Nestle´ SA, a company based in Switzerland, with brands that included Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, and Crunchbars. The chocolate-covered cookie and wafer category was valued at $155 million that year. Information Resources, Inc., reported that Reese’s Crunchy Cookie Cups had sales of $20 million and controlled 12.9 percent of the category. Reese’s Crunchy Cookie Cups Halloween Candy generated an additional $7 million in sales. Hershey’s Kit Kat brand had sales of $61 million, and Twix had sales of $49.9 million. For the year ended November 8, 1998, all Reese’s products had sales of $108.9 million; Kit Kat had $60.5 million, and Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar had $9.5 million, according to Brandweek. From mid-August 1997 through mid-August 1998 Twix had sales of $70.5 million in grocery stores, drug stores, and mass merchandise outlets.
Advertising Age reported that Mars spent $67.3 million to advertise its products in 1998. Of that amount, $58.9 million went for television commercials and $7.2 million went for print ads. A large percentage of Mars’ marketing budget was used to promote M&M’s, a popular product that came in two styles—chocolate and chocolate-covered peanuts—with multicolored candy coatings. An M&M’s Crispyline extension was launched late in 1998 with a $40 million advertising campaign. During the first half of 1998 Mars spent $11.9 million to promote another popular brand, Twix chocolatecovered wafer, with the tag line ‘‘Two for me, none for you.’’ The print ads and television commercials revolved around the idea that although Twix was sold in packages of two, the product tasted so good that people were not willing to share it. One commercial showed a man who had just been awarded two expensive vehicles in the brand’s ‘‘Double or Nothing’’ instant-win game. As he wondered what he would do with identical Jeep Wranglers, his companion mused, ‘‘Maybe give one to your best friend.’’ Television commercials in the campaign aired during programs for young people, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Party of Five. Hershey’s other primary rival, Nestle´ promoted its Butterfinger brand with an advertising campaign that starred cartoon characters from the popular television program The Simpsons. Ads for another crunchy candy, Baby Ruth, used the tag line ‘‘This baby gets you going!’’ to position the brand as a source of energy for active people. In 1997 Nestle´ spent about $5 million on advertising to support the launch of White Crunch, a bar of white chocolate with crisped rice and peanut pieces. Nestle´ also introduced four varieties of a new brand, Treasures, which consisted of milk chocolate shells filled with peanut butter, Butterfinger Bits, the crisped rice used in Crunch bars, or caramel. An advertisement in People magazine featured the headline, ‘‘This would read even better if you were curled up with some Nestle´ Treasures.’’ The tag line ‘‘From you to you’’ suggested that Treasures were a good choice for consumers who wanted to indulge themselves.
Another rival, Russell Stover Candies, launched Russell Stover Peanut Butter & Jelly Cups. Sold two to a package or individually wrapped in large bags, the product consisted of round chocolate shells with a peanut butter filling and either grape jelly or raspberry jam. One advertisement featured the tag line ‘‘Gushing with Flavor’’ in type that looked as if it had been written with purple and red jelly. The text said, ‘‘For the first time
ever, Russell Stover combines the world’s most popular flavors: peanut butter, jelly, and milk chocolate.’’ The ad included a coupon that could be redeemed for 50 cents toward the purchase of the product and another coupon that consumers could redeem for a free sample

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Targeting a broad audience of people who enjoyed the taste of creamy peanut butter and rich milk chocolate together, ‘‘The Crisp You Can’t Resist’’ appealed to consumers who enjoyed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups but who wanted to try a line extension with a new texture and slightly different taste. Hershey intended the new product to move beyond the candy market and compete with cookies and cakes in the snack market. Lisa Kronmuller, new products manager of Hershey’s marketing department, said in a news release: ‘‘Consumers love the taste of peanut butter and chocolate together. ReeseSticks provide a unique combination of sweet and salty tastes with an extra crispy texture—a perfect snack item for chocolate candy, cookie, and snack cake lovers.’’ The ads emphasized the similarities and differences between ReeseSticks and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The campaign’s lighthearted tone entertained the audience and conveyed the message that candy was a fun, enjoyable treat. The ads also showed that ReeseSticks were more complex than some other candies, since they contained three ingredients assembled in layers.


Hershey traced its roots to Lancaster Caramel Company, founded in 1886 by Milton S. Hershey. A subsidiary, Hershey Chocolate Company, opened in 1894. Milton Hershey retained the chocolate business when he sold the caramel operation for $1 million in 1900. He used the money to open what would become the largest chocolate factory in the world. He also founded a utopian community named Hershey, Pennsylvania, for the company’s workers, and he established an orphanage and ensured that it would continue to receive a large percentage of the firm’s profits after his death. By the 1990s the company was called Hershey Foods. It manufactured ice cream toppings, chocolate syrup, chocolate chips and other baking products, milk products, and various brands of pasta. The company led the U.S. candy industry with brands such as Hershey’s milk chocolate bars, Hershey’s Kisses, Hershey’s Nuggets, Kit Kat chocolate bars, Cookies ’n’ Creme white chocolate bars with cookie bits, York Peppermint Patties, and Twizzlers licorice. In 1996 Hershey also acquired Leaf North America, which made Jolly Rancher, Milk Duds, Whoppers, and PayDay candies. In 1998 Reese’s was the largest and most popular of Hershey’s brands and was valued at $350 million, according to Advertising Age.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were launched in 1928 by Harry Burnett Reese, the founder of H.B. Reese Candy Company. Hershey acquired the firm for $23.5 million in 1963 and began marketing Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups nationally. The product consisted of specially processed peanut butter in a disk-shaped, milk chocolate shell with fluted edges. It was packaged in bright orange wrappers that contained two peanut butter cups. The first line extension, Reese’s Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups, was launched in 1976. Other line extensions introduced over the years included small candies called Reese’s Pieces, peanut butter Easter eggs and Christmas trees, peanut butter baking bits, peanut butter in a jar, peanut butter ice cream, and peanut butter puffs cereal. According to Brandweek, Hershey’s total advertising budget for all its Reese’s products was $33 million in 1997, up from $22.6 million in 1996.
From 1969 to 1988 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were promoted with the tag line, ‘‘Two great tastes that taste great together.’’ In 1988, after market research showed that consumers had developed individual, ritualistic ways of eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, the company launched a humorous campaign called ‘‘There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s’’ that was still running in 1999. The new ads highlighted the candy’s unique qualities and the many eccentric ways it could be eaten. One magazine advertisement that ran in 1998 showed two miniature peanut butter cups above two captions that both said, ‘‘‘I eat them just like my brother.’’’ A second line of text explained, ‘‘(Don and Dan, identical twins.)’’
In 1995 Hershey supported its recently introduced Reese’s Nutrageous candy bar—a crunchy combination of chocolate and peanuts—with a $9.5 million advertising campaign. In 1997 the company spent an estimated $10 million to launch another line extension, Reese’s Crunchy Cookie Cups, which contained peanut butter, milk chocolate, and a chocolate cookie. The promotion included the distribution of 50 million coupons and 8 million free samples of the product. Later in the year Hershey began selling ReeseSticks wafer bars in limited markets. The ‘‘The Crisp You Can’t Resist!’’ campaign was launched early in 1998 to support the national introduction of ReeseSticks.


Hershey supported the launch of ReeseSticks wafer bars with a campaign that emphasized the product’s connection to its predecessor, the popular Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. ReeseSticks had a different texture and taste because they contained crisp wafers in addition to the creamy peanut butter and milk chocolate found in peanut butter cups. A television commercial featured a round peanut butter cup in the form of a buzzsaw, cutting a wafer in half and covering it with chocolate and peanut butter. An advertisement in Reader’s Digest in May 1998 simply showed two Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups above the word ‘‘original’’ and two ReeseSticks above the words ‘‘new extra crispy.’’ One of the ReeseSticks was broken apart to reveal that it contained layers of peanut butter between wafers, all coated in milk chocolate. The tag line ‘‘The Crisp You Can’t Resist!’’ was centered below a picture of the new product in the trademark orange Reese’s wrapper. ReeseSticks were the latest in a series of innovative line extensions that had helped make Reese’s the company’s most successful brand. Reese’s was one of the first widely popular candies that combined chocolate and peanut butter. Competing with Hershey, the industry leader, other confectioners introduced their own crispy chocolate-and-peanut butter candies. Advertising for ReeseSticks was so effective, however, that demand exceeded supply shortly after the product was launched nationally in the spring of 1998. ‘‘The Crisp You Can’t Resist!’’ campaign of television commercials and print advertisements was created by the New York office of Ogilvy & Mather. It was introduced in print and broadcast media early in 1998 and continued into 1999.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Heineken’s U.S. sales grew consistently with the introduction of ‘‘It’s All About the Beer.’’ The brand’s estimated sales were at 35 million cases in the mid-1990s; by 1999 that figure had grown to 47 million cases, and in 2000 Heineken saw another 10 percent increase, with sales of 54 million cases. The sales increases were seen as directly tied to Heineken’s new brand image, and the brew’s measured-media spend of an estimated $34 million in 1999 grew to $50 million by 2001. Additionally, Lowe Lintas was tapped, in 2000, to adapt the concept of the campaign for Heineken markets worldwide. Hillary Chura noted in Advertising Age, ‘‘Heineken’s game plan—to broaden the brand’s appeal—allowed the lager to break records, shatter stereotypes and register consecutive years of healthy growth.’’ Gerry Khermouch of Brandweek said of the campaign, paraphrasing Heineken’s Steve Davis, ‘‘It clicked on all three requirements for a winning campaign: it broke through, was entertaining and offered a provocative, relevant message . . . By contrast, even the best work on Bud and Miller often clicks on just the first two criteria.’’
In 2002 Heineken moved its advertising account from Lowe Lintas to D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, because Lee Garfinkel, the most instrumental figure from the outset of the campaign, had himself taken a job at D’Arcy in January of 2001. Heineken waited for Garfinkel’s non-compete clause to expire before moving its account to his new agency. D’Arcy continued the ‘‘It’s All about the Beer’’ campaign in work that paired the established beer-centered theme with holiday subject matter. Heineken changed agencies again in 2003, enlisting Publicis New York, but stayed on message, extending ‘‘It’s All About the Beer’’ in well-received TV spots as well as outdoor ads and radio spots in the following years.


‘‘It’s All About the Beer’’ premiered two weeks before the 1999 Super Bowl, during telecasts of the National Football League (NFL) conference championship games. This choice of venue was a strategic move by Heineken to counteract Anheuser-Busch’s dominance in Super Bowl advertising by achieving comparable visibility for a fraction of the cost, while effectively taking center stage as the only advertiser offering Super Bowl–quality spots during those earlier games. Further, for the big game itself Heineken skirted Anheuser-Busch’s Super Bowl exclusivity agreement with the Fox network, which prohibited other brewers from buying national airtime during the big game, by buying time on selected local affiliates. Heineken spots ran during the Super Bowl in markets that included New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta, cities accounting for 70 to 80 percent of the brand’s American sales.
In its bid to appeal to a younger and more down-toearth audience, Heineken took calculated risks of various types in the campaign’s individual spots. Commercials that broke in 1999 and ran through 2000 included ‘‘Mood Swing,’’ in which a fan in a basketball arena was shown doing something that had been unthinkable in an earlier era’s Heineken advertising: drinking the brew from a plastic cup. The dramatic crux of the spot came when the fan’s enthusiasm for his team caused him to spill his Heineken. Another spot, ‘‘The Weasel,’’ showed a man bringing a Budweiser-like beer to a house party and then filching another guest’s Heineken from the refrigerator. ‘‘Premature Pour’’ showed a man and woman pouring Heineken while eyeing one another seductively; excited, the man poured too much beer too quickly, and spilled it. ‘‘The Male Bonding Incident,’’ meanwhile, parodied heterosexual men’s hang-ups about homosexuality. The spot showed two sports-watching men accidentally holding hands while passing a Heineken bottle, before both recoiled in horror. While the sexuality and humor of these spots was in keeping with the tone of much beer advertising of the period, Heineken was almost alone among industry competitors in linking such human situations explicitly to its product. Each of the ‘‘beer moments’’ dramatized in the campaign, regardless of the human behavior exhibited, hinged on the presence not just of beer but of Heineken. Later executions of the ‘‘It’s All About the Beer’’ theme included a group of spots keyed to Heineken’s introduction of a keg-shaped can. In ‘‘The Envy,’’ which ran through 2002, two men stood next to one another at public urinals. Both set their beers on top of the receptacles, but one of the men could not stop looking at the other’s keg-shaped Heineken can. The Heineken drinker, rattled by the attention, left the restroom abruptly. In ‘‘The Poachers,’’ two friends in the checkout aisle of a supermarket stealthily moved the grocery divider on the conveyor belt so that another customer’s case of Heineken would be included among their own purchases.


In its push to broaden its market in America, Heineken necessarily took aim at beer-industry heavyweights such as Anheuser-Busch and its flagship brew, Budweiser. Anheuser-Busch, in addition to possessing an almost 50 percent market share of the country’s beer market, had an advertising budget far larger than those of its nearest competitors. Despite declining sales of Budweiser, the brewer continued to support the ‘‘King of Beers’’ with blockbuster ad campaigns in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Budweiser commercials featuring talking frogs that croaked ‘‘Budweiser’’ in combination with one another gave way to a competing cast of lizards and an evolving swamp-creatures storyline, and then Budweiser made an even bigger splash with ‘‘Whassup?!’’ a campaign featuring a group of friends who greeted one another using the idiosyncratic, slang question that gave the campaign its name. A true measure of Heineken’s success, in the eyes of industry commentators, was the fact that, during this time, Anheuser-Busch used a ‘‘Whassup?!’’ spot to poke fun at stereotypical Heineken drinkers, thereby acknowledging its much smaller competitor as a threat. In the commercial, preppy types greeted each other with a hyper-articulate rendering of ‘‘How are you doing?’’ while drinking beer from green bottles clearly meant to suggest Heineken. Corona Extra doubled its share of the American import market between 1995 and 2000, going from a 13.5 percent market share to 27.3 percent and overtaking Heineken as the country’s best-selling import. The brand’s marketing strategy, which attempted to make the Mexican beer synonymous with seaside relaxation and escape from the everyday, was widely credited with providing fuel for such rapid growth. Taglines such as ‘‘Miles Away from Ordinary’’ and ‘‘Go Someplace Better’’ ran in concert with beach scenery, as Corona extended its tried-and-true advertising formula into the early years of the millennium.