SAN FRANCISCO – When MySoftware Co. set out to convince technonaifs that its programs were easy to use, the last thing the company needed was a slick ad campaign. MySoftware made its reputation on no-frills software, and its commercials had to reflect that. So agency Mandelbaum Mooney Ashley put out a casting call for 5,000 of the Menlo Park, Calif., marketer’s customers to produce home videos in which they tell how easy the product is to use. MMA is editing those tapes for a national cable television campaign – MySoftware’s first – which begins airing this month. The media budget is just under $1 million.
The commercials begin with the customer holding a homemade sign that reads ‘MyCommercial for MySoftware,’ and ends with the customer saying, ‘It’s my business, so I use MySoftware.’ The first spot will feature David Johnston, a dulcimer maker in Calistoga, Calif.
Cathi Mooney, MMA chairman and creative director, said the agency decided to use actual customers because they added credibility and helped promote the software as unintimidating to those who aren’t computer proficient. ‘A spokesperson could not as easily deliver those qualities,’ she said.
‘Software that takes five minutes to learn sounds suspicious, even though it’s true,’ Mooney said. Using someone like Johnston cuts through that problem. ‘He’s very charming and very sincere,’ said Mooney.
‘He makes it believable.’
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)
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