Client: MTX Paging Products, Watertown, Conn.
Agency: The Hughes Agency, Norwalk, Conn.
Creative Director: David Grigg
Copywriter: Jeannie Credidio
Art Director: Brian Hutter
Photographer: Philip Habib
Look, up in the sky . . . It’s a watch . . . It’s a pager . . . It’s both! A joint venture between Timex and Motorola has spawned Beepwear, a line of pagers that combine the technology of Motorola with the timekeeping tradition of Timex.
To introduce the products, The Hughes Agency created a 60-second television spot that targets the 18-34-year-old, mostly male market. The commercial opens with a pair of young men walking through an amusement park. As they board a roller coaster, a sinister ride operator tells his boss that the beepers are “dropping like flies.” The next scene shows a riot of brightly colored pagers falling slowly through the air and being caught on the ground by another ride operator with a lacrosse stick. The only pager to remain in place is the Beepwear.
“Finally, a full-text message pager that stays where you put it–right on your wrist,” explains the voiceover, as one of the passengers glances at his watch and gleans the message: “My water broke.”
The tagline is: “One beeping great watch.”
“We’re really trying to establish a brand image,” said Paul Hughes, president of The Hughes Agency. “The print ads ask, ‘How many watches can say that?’ But it’s really a rhetorical question because there are no watches that can say that.”
The commercial will break in Los Angeles in June and will air in the San Francisco, Miami, Chicago and Dallas markets later in the year. Radio spots will break in New York in June.
In addition to broadcast advertising, a half-dozen full-page print executions are scheduled to appear in the national editions of various consumer magazines, including Rolling Stone, Parents, Seventeen, Entertainment Weekly and Men’s Health. The central visual element of the print ads is the Beepwear watch with a message on its face. “I faked it last night,” reads the message in one ad. Another reads, “Eighty-six the juice bar. I want a cheeseburger.”
The agency is also planning to launch a direct mail campaign targeting retailers. The media budget for 1998 is about $4 million, according to Hughes.
Client: SIS Bank, Springfield, Mass.
Agency: Cronin & Co., Glastonbury, Conn.
Creative Director: Steve Wolfberg
Copywriter: Greg Edwards
Art Director: Maureen Gawron
Motivated by the customers who don’t bank at SIS, Cronin & Co. developed a print campaign with the themeline, “We’re not gonna rest till everybody banks here.”
“Instead of doing something around the relentless pursuit of perfection, we came up with something that’s very much in keeping with the feisty, irreverent tone we’ve created for [SIS],” said Cronin creative director Steve Wolfberg. “Having almost 50 percent of the market is good for some people, but [SIS] wants every human being who breathes and has money to bank. They thought they had excellent products and service, but clearly it’s just not enough. So what can they do to earn your business?”
The ads invite consumers to say exactly what’s on their mind and why they don’t bank at SIS. One execution that ran in the Springfield, Mass., market at the end of April announces the date and time that Bill Marshall, the bank’s president and chief executive officer, was available to personally field calls from potential customers. Another ad, which broke last week, demands, “The fax. We have some theories why people still don’t bank here. Now we want the fax. 748-8474.” A dotted line surrounds a form addressed to Marshall and reads: “Here’s what you need to do to get me to bank with SIS:” The body copy reads, “If you’re banking somewhere else, cut it out. Then fill it out and fax it. Because we really want to know what SIS needs to do to earn your banking business. And we’re not gonna rest until we find out.” The print effort is accompanied by radio spots in the Springfield market, Wolfberg said.
Future print ads may include vignettes from Marshall’s phone conversations with consumers. One former SIS customer called to say he had been hounded by the bank seven years ago regarding a $20 fee he owed. Marshall, according to Wolfberg, promised the man a $20 check if he would come back.
The budget was not disclosed; SIS spent about $500,000 on media in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting. –Sarah Jones