ATI, a technology company that makes sophisticated internal mechanisms for a wide range of electronics and computers, was seeking to boost its profile among the college-age demographic.
Its thinking was that better name recognition and understanding of ATI's business among younger consumers would cause them to seek out products that included ATI parts, helping the company's reputation and sales for years to come. To do that, the company turned to Canadian tech specialist firm High Road.
"Most consumers... enjoy using the technology, but they don't want to know what's inside the technology," explains Joanne Musico, ATI's senior marketing manager. The challenge was how to reach that audience without boring them with technical terms. High Road helped find a consumer-friendly angle: a free 64-page glossy magazine, with content designed to be appealing and interesting to the general reader while also educating them on ATI's business.
The agency's content for the magazine, dubbed Red Magazine, found wide angles for specific products. To highlight ATI's products that help build high-definition televisions, for example, Red ran an article on the TV show My Name is Earl, which is shot in high definition. Planting the idea that "ATI rocks" in the heads of readers, says High Road account director Heather Steele, "was an important message for us." More than 300,000 copies of the magazine were placed free in 150 different Barnes & Noble bookstores on college campuses.
High Road set up a Web-based promotion featuring a code in the magazine to track readership; with weeks left to go, Steele says, the effort had already exceeded the target by 40%.
ATI and High Road are currently working to put the magazine's content online. Musico says that another issue is planned.
PR team: ATI (Markham, Ontario) and High Road Communications (Toronto)
Campaign: The launch of Red Magazine
Duration: May to June 2006
Budget: $35,000 (not including publishing costs)