SCI taps KPC for national branding push

HOUSTON: Service Corporation International (SCI), the US' largest provider of funeral services, has hired Kupper Parker Communications (KPC) to handle its integrated marketing duties.

HOUSTON: Service Corporation International (SCI), the US' largest provider of funeral services, has hired Kupper Parker Communications (KPC) to handle its integrated marketing duties.

As part of a national branding effort, KPC, now the corporate AOR for marketing, will assist the company in consolidating and centralizing its advertising efforts. The firm will also begin a major ad thrust for Dignity Memorial, SCI's national brand of funeral service locations.

The brand has been tested in certain areas since its 2000 inception, but is primed for a higher profile, said a company official.

"We're ready to start rolling it out a little more aggressively," said Terry Hemeyer, managing director of corporate communications. "It's a co-branding effort between Dignity Memorial and the various cemeteries that we own around the country."

As part of an overall push to up brand awareness and sales, KPC will also provide services in the arenas of ethnic marketing.

Among KPC's PR duties will be to help Hemeyer with the more than 400 media calls he said he receives each year.

"There are projects they will identify for us to work on in various areas, locally and nationally," added Mary Barber, a partner in PR at KPC.

Hemeyer and Barber said the integrated nature of the agency makes it a good fit. "The idea of working with an integrated company was important to them," Barber said. "We just have a particular work ethic and chemistry with them that they were really attracted to."

The relationship between the two companies goes back to a recent crisis communications issue KPC handled; Hemeyer declined to disclose any details.

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