Campaigns: CADS deliver the digital message - Business-to-Business PR

On Monday 17 January, commuters entering tube stations in central London were greeted by the spectacle of half a dozen leather-clad, helmeted motorbike couriers brandishing placards and handing out leaflets promoting the action group CADS - Couriers Against Digital Senders.

On Monday 17 January, commuters entering tube stations in central

London were greeted by the spectacle of half a dozen leather-clad,

helmeted motorbike couriers brandishing placards and handing out

leaflets promoting the action group CADS - Couriers Against Digital

Senders.



Curious passengers were duped into accepting a leaflet to investigate

what the protest was about, only to discover upon opening that the

leaflet was a slick advert for Hewlett Packard’s (HP) new 9100C digital

sender, and the ’protest’ was a spoof. The digital sender allows the

transfer of ’perfect’ copies of documents - including full colour - to

e-mail addresses, printers, PCs and faxes ’at a fraction of the cost and

time a courier would take’.





Objectives



To raise the profile of Hewlett Packard’s digital sender; to highlight

the cost savings that business can achieve by using it; to raise HP’s

profile with company IT specifiers, and to profile HP alongside the

issue of knowledge management.





Strategy and Plan



The spoof campaign was the brainchild of marketing group Perspectives -

part of the WPP group - and was executed by PR agency Beattie Media.



Beattie arranged the photography and developed the press release which

was targeted at the business equipment press.



The ’demonstrations’ took place during peak times at high traffic sites

including Liverpool Street, Chancery Lane and St Paul’s tube stations,

from 17-19 January.



The team of placard-wieldin couriers handed out leaflets containing

digital sender information. In addition, 5,000 senior executives in

financial and legal City organisations were targeted with a hand

delivered ’courier’ package containing information about the HP sender

with the message ’you could’ve received this in a fraction of the time,

at a fraction of the cost’.



Rosie Sanders, Perspectives’ digital sender account manager, explained:

’This was a tightly-targeted campaign with potential end-users heavily

concentrated around the City of London.’





Measurement and Evaluation



It is too early to assess media coverage because the target titles of

the campaign are monthly business titles which have not gone to

press.



However, Beattie has already fielded calls from publications interested

in receiving copy and pictures of the demonstration.



A number of Hewlett Packard’s European colleagues have contacted HP UK

to discuss the possibility of launching the same campaign or a variation

of it, in major European cities.



David Smith, product marketing manager for the HP sender, said he was

delighted with the whole concept. ’This was a cutting edge campaign for

a cutting edge product.’



One of the objectives of the campaign was to reach the target audience

of senior executives. The main difficulty in achieving this is getting

past the barrier of the assistant or secretary whose job it is to filter

the post. By making the courier-delivered packages look like important

documents, initial reports suggest that they made it to the desks of the

intended recipients.





Results



This cleverly staged campaign managed to achieve all of its initial

objectives; with hundreds of commuters picking up leaflets - at some

tube stations there were even queues to find out what the demonstration

was about. This clearly helped to raise the profile of the company. The

target audience was also reached with the courier-delivered packages to

senior personnel.



According to HP’s David Smith: ’It is still early days yet in terms of

whether we achieved our ultimate measures of generating response and in

terms of people requesting further information about the product.

However, we feel that the campaign has been a great success so far.’



The CADS campaign is a good example of marketing and PR agencies working

together to create an amusing and original campaign.



Client: Hewlett Packard

PR Team: Beattie Media

Campaign: CADS - Couriers Against Digital Senders (Hewlett Packard

Digital Sender 9100C)

Timescale: 17-19 January

Budget: Undisclosed



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