Lawson Takes On Giants With TV

M/W Spot Positions Software Marketer As Small But Trustworthy
CHICAGO–Seeking to boost brand awareness in a crowded business software field, Lawson Software has taken to the airwaves with its first TV campaign, created by Martin/Williams in Minneapolis.
“We go up against some very big, publicly held companies,” said Nancy Harrower, director of corporate communications for the Minneapolis company. “What we needed was a way to expand awareness nationally.”
Lawson, a $200 million, privately held company, markets enterprise resource planning software, which helps companies link their various divisions. That makes it a rival of such national software powers as Oracle, SAP and PeopleSoft.
M/W’s 30-second TV spot casts Lawson as a customer-focused software company, portraying its larger competitors as reptilian predators. As a software salesman morphs into a snake, a voiceover advises companies to “make sure you know who you’re dealing with” before giving business to “one of those huge software providers.”
The spot continues the same tagline, “Leading edge technology without the attitude,” introduced last year in the company’s continuing print campaign.
The spot broke last week with a targeted buy that includes business programming and midday stock breaks on cable news networks such as CNN, MSNBC and CNBC. Spot buys in New York and Minneapolis are also part of the media schedule.
The cable news programs are the ones most watched by the top-level executives Lawson is looking to reach, said account supervisor David Eiben. “We asked, ‘What’s a way we can reach a really targeted audience quickly?'” he said.
Spending is estimated at $3-5 million for the 10-week flight. Lawson last year spent $1.8 million on consumer advertising, according to Competitive Media Reporting, compared to $18.4 million for Oracle, $3.5 million for PeopleSoft and $21.4 million for SAP.