Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Unisys marries magazine, out-of-home advertising in aggressive pitch

We've heard a number of reports about magazines having a hard time selling out their ad space (and at reduced rates), but Unisys is experimenting with a unique plan to combine the targeted appeal of magazine ads with the broad audience of an out-of-home media campaign in an effort to reach 20 -- and exactly 20 -- people. From this WSJ article:

Around 20 high-ranking executives at corporations such as Subaru of America, DHL, Citigroup and Northwest Airlines will get a surprise when Fortune magazine arrives on their desks this week. Each will find his or her own face gracing the cover.

The covers are one-of-a-kind mock-ups wrapping the actual Fortune edition, part of an advertising play conducted by information-technology company Unisys that brings new meaning to the idea of niche marketing. Unisys is sending the magazines to get the attention of executives -- mostly chief information officers -- responsible for making buying decisions about their companies' technology products and services. In other words, the people Unisys most wants to influence.

To make sure that these select few actually pick up a copy of the magazine, Unisys is blanketing the areas where they work, play and shop with out-of-home advertisements like billboards and vehicle wraps, even going so far as to figure out where the execs might stop for breakfast or coffee on their commute to the office.

On the one hand, that's pretty creepy. There's a fine line between avant-garde and invasion-of-privacy, and this campaign does a good job of straddling it. On the other hand, though, combining the reach and depth of these two advertising media gives Unisys a chance to be remarkable, not only for the 20 intended viewers of the personalized pitch, but also for the millions of people who are now talking about the company.

Tags: Unisys, out-of-home advertising, magazine advertising, FORTUNE, Omnicom

No comments: