Cincy Shop Blows Its Own Horn

HSR Backs Itself With $6 Mil. Campaign Aimed At Executives
CHICAGO–HSR Business to Business is heeding advice it gives its clients by launching a national branding campaign on its own behalf in mainstream business magazines.
“One of the raps against agencies is that they seldom do for themselves what they counsel their clients to do,” said Tom Rentschler, creative director of HSR Marketing Communications Inc., a subsidiary of HSR B2B. “We’re really quite serious in our commitment of our resources to this effort.”
A $6 million campaign, breaking today in Forbes, positions the Cincinnati agency as a provider of “end-to-end solutions.” The two-page advertisements will also appear in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Business Week, as well as in Internet technology magazines and marketing publications.
“The companies that we really will be competing against in the Internet space are all advertising in these publications,” Rentschler said. “We want to be thought of as the b-to-b specialists in a field that is dominated by generalists.”
Shelly Lazarus, chairman of the board of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, said, “We rarely use the brand tools we are most familiar with–advertising.”
The campaign targets business leaders and features a red ring symbol that is meant to represent the strategy, Internet and marketing offerings of the company.
The “brand icon” becomes the ring in the nose of a bull, the earring of a spiky-haired youth or the bait on the hook a fish is about to swallow, in black-and-white photographs accented with red.
HSR B2B is the holding company formed in January by the founders of Hensley Segal Rentschler, Inc. Along with the marketing communications division, the company includes HSR Consulting and HSR Internet Services.
Separately, Nationtax Online has hired HSR B2B after an informal review for its $3-5 million account.
The agency will manage advertising, public relations, strategic planning and Web design for the site, which enables small businesses to prepare, file and pay their taxes online.
“We were trying to find someone who knows how to communicate effectively with businesses,” said Marc Beaumont, vice president of marketing for the Birmingham, Ala.-based client. K