Boeing wants its ad agency to deliver a strategic message that suggests, "Tomorrow will be better because of something Boeing is or will be doing," according to proposal requests mailed to agencies last week.
The review, which involves most of the city's major shops, comes as Boeing moves its corporate headquarters to Chicago from Seattle. The Chicago office of Foote, Cone & Belding is defending the $70 million business for the incumbent, FCB Seattle.
Other Chicago shops that Boeing's consultant, Bob Wolf Partners in Los Angeles, has asked for proposals include BBDO, Leo Burnett, DDB, J. Walter Thompson, Publicis in Mid America and Young & Rubicam. Wolf's initial plan was to approach 10 or 11 shops with global capabilities and full-service offices in Chicago.
A Boeing representative declined comment; Bob Wolf could not be reached.
One other agency that fits that description, Euro RSCG McCon-naughy Tatham, could not proceed because the shop's parent handles Boeing competitor Airbus.
Boeing wants its account based in Chicago, which, with the state of Illinois, rolled out the red carpet and offered millions of dollars in tax incentives to lure the company. But the company does ask agencies to detail which other offices in their network might offer "some portion of the creative resources" required by the company.
Several of the potential contenders are expected to draw on resources from elsewhere, especially those with New York headquarters. FCB Seattle is lending its Chicago counterpart a hand as well.
Boeing will select semifinalists next week. Finalists will then be chosen and given a creative assignment. A "creative work session" will be held the first week in September and final presentations made Oct. 5-8, with a decision the next day, according to the questionnaire.
In the RFP, Boeing said it will spend $72 million globally, about $40 million of which is for corporate advertising and $16 million behind commercial aircraft.
"The 'ideal' would be to develop a distinctive global campaign for corporate and to adapt key executional elements down to the business unit level," the RFP states.
Among criteria are shops with business-to-business expertise, "ideally with aerospace or other highly technical products or services," and agencies with an ability to create ads that have "positively influenced Congress, decision makers in the military and/or key influencers in the U.S. or foreign governments."
Media criteria are also laid out in the RFP.