CDW launches 'North Pole IT' holiday campaign

VERNON HILLS, IL: Technology company CDW has launched a holiday campaign to increase brand awareness and leverage its cause marketing efforts.

VERNON HILLS, IL: Technology company CDW has launched a holiday campaign to increase brand awareness and leverage its cause marketing efforts.

The company is engaging consumers by depicting how the company handles Santa Claus' IT infrastructure in the North Pole throughout the holiday season.

“We've all had a computer freeze, but none of us have had our computer in a block of ice,” said Dean Lamb, senior manager of corporate brand marketing at CDW. “It's just a funny way to demonstrate some of the challenges of the North Pole IT and how CDW can help.”

Ogilvy PR Worldwide, CDW's AOR since October 2006, created the assets for the campaign to make it “fun and engaging,” said Lamb. The agency also worked with CDW to test the idea with consumers before bringing it to market.

“We have a customer advisory board that we rely on for these things because sometimes these types of viral elements can backfire on you and not be a positive,” he added.

The initiative features various elements, including the @LarrytheITElf Twitter handle, which was created for the campaign's fictional “director of North Pole IT” character. It also has a series of videos demonstrating IT issues in the North Pole, and downloadable “Elfspiration” posters. CDW is also using its Facebook page to get the message out.

The company will launch a satellite media tour, incorporating digital and mobile technology into the holiday shopping experience, on December 12.  

Lamb said blogger outreach has been “a key component” of CDW's efforts because the blogosphere is very popular in the IT world.

Sister agency Ogilvy & Mather, CDW's advertising AOR for the past two years, has handled ad content for the effort.

In addition to conveying that CDW is “a national IT solutions provider,” Lamb said a campaign goal is to drive awareness of the company's cause marketing efforts.

CDW also wants to get customers more involved with its philanthropic work this year. The company will donate $250,000 to 10 organizations for the holidays, initially giving $10,000 to each, and then splitting the leftover money between the organizations depending on how many votes they get from consumers. Voting will take place at CDWGives.com.

CDW may extend the campaign into the new year, Lamb added. Budget was not disclosed.

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