Avaya Aims for the ‘Heart of Business’

NEW YORK Avaya has dropped U.S. spokesman Wayne Brady in favor of a pitch to global technophiles who see the company’s Internet protocol phone service as a cool innovation in business communications.

A new campaign, tagged, “Communciations at the heart of business,” aims to show decision makers how routing voice and data over the Internet can extend software applications and systems to remote locations, allowing headquarters and branch offices to work together more efficiently and effectively.

Avaya spent about $20 million on ads last year and $9 million through August, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

“We’re really targeting the broad spectrum of entities, from small- and medium-size busnisess, all the way up to Fortune 500s,” said Deidre Robinson, the client’s director of advertising. “You may make the most fantastic product, but if you can’t communicate with your customer when they need you,” that’s a problem.

An omnibus print ad appearing in major U.K., U.S. and Australian business media this week directs visitors to Avaya’s Web site, redesigned by R/GA in New York.

Visitors to the homepage are taken to an animated landing bar that scrolls across the screen as the cursor moves left to right. Graphic elements highlight case studies of Avaya customers such as Pebble Beach or Victoria’s Secret. Visitors can also run demos of an Avaya IP Softphone, request VOIP network assessments or access a white paper on the technology by International Data Corp.

Print and TV ads, which will bow in 2005, were created by Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson in New York.

“Our target is increasingly online,” said Robinson, who said banner ads, search engine placement, blogs and buying placement for white papers on third party sites are all part of their online plan. “We want to drive people to demos where they can see the technology.”