Cox Taps Doner to Build Brand, Draw Customers

Doner hit the right mix of brand-building and retail work to win Cox Communications’ estimated $20 million business, company executives said.

“We were looking for an agency that could bring a balance of brand and (customer) acquisition expertise,” said Joe Rooney, vice president of marketing for the Atlanta-based cable company.

The Southfield, Mich., agency won the account after a review that included Martin/Williams, Cramer-Krasselt and Trone Advertising. RedDragon Consulting in Atlanta handled the search.

The account went into review in December when incumbent BBDO South re-signed after winning Cingular Wireless’ $250 mil-lion account. Cox Communications, a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, operates 25 cable TV systems in 70 markets.

Doner’s first campaign is set for the third quarter, said agency CEO Alan Kalter. “We focussed first and foremost on the brand. After that, the retail falls into place.”

Most of the work will appear on Cox’s cable systems. Cox will handle media in-house.

“We are in an heavy acquisition mode (for customers); at the same time we are building a brand we need to make the phones ring,” said Dena Malsom, director of creative services and branding.

Some said Cox seemed to emphasize retail over branding.

“There were 14 people on the review committee,” said one agency president. “Most of them were regional sales guys. We’re talking brand-building and strategy; they wanted to hear about rebates and promotions.”