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Brand Icons 'Guest Star' in Xerox Campaign

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Xerox is prepping a new campaign, via Y&R, New York, as part of an effort to position itself as more than just a printer and copier maker. The effort spans TV, print, out-of-home and digital, and is one of the largest brand initiatives in decades for Xerox.

The move follows the company’s acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services in February, making it a bigger player in the information technology space. Valued at $6 billion, the deal nearly tripled Xerox’s services business, said chief marketing officer Christa Carone.

Dubbed “Ready for real business,” the campaign launches next Tuesday. Notable in the ads is Xerox’s use of well known brand mascots: Procter & Gamble’s Mr. Clean, Target’s Bullseye dog and the Marriott Hotels & Resorts’ bellman, to name a few. All of the icons featured in the ads are current Xerox clients, Carone said.

The ads are meant to show how Xerox enables each of these businesses to succeed, illustrated by the various tasks each of the brand mascots juggles. A print ad featuring Mr. Clean, for instance, has him wiping a table while attempting to copy a pile of documents. The copy reads: “We focus on digitizing P&G’s documents worldwide. So they don’t have to."

So what's the underlying message? “When you’ve got Xerox working behind the scenes, you have the freedom to focus on your core and real business,” Carone said.

Tony Granger, global chief creative officer at WPP-owned Y&R, said the mascots function as a sort of customer testimonial, albeit with a unique spin. “At the end of the day, Xerox is about helping customers be successful, and using their customers’ brand icons was a fun way of saying that,” he said.

Xerox is not a huge advertiser. (It notched just $8 million in ad expenditures in 2009, and $5 million through the first six months of this year, excluding online, per the Nielsen Co.) Carone, however, said the new campaign is in the “multimillion-dollar" range.

The effort also encompasses digital and interactive components, such as a multimedia site, Realbusiness.com, and motion-sensor and touch-screen activated billboards. Other agencies that worked on the campaign are VML and MEC for digital and media buying duties, respectively.