Dana Corp. Bidding For Recognition

Fahlgren Crafts Manufacturer’s First Corporate Ads In 20 Years
CHICAGO–A lot has happened at Dana Corp. since its last corporate advertising campaign in 1979, and now the 94-year-old company is speaking up for itself again.
A series of single and two-page spread ads begins appearing this week in Business Week, Forbes and Fortune, positioning the vehicle parts manufacturer as a home to professionals looking to make better things and make things better for customers. The tagline is: “People finding a better way.”
The campaign comes on the heels of two important events for Dana: the completion of its acquisition of competitor Echlin, which will boost its annual sales by $3.3 billion to nearly $12 billion; and the tentative settlement of the General Motors strikes, which had hobbled Dana’s own production. But neither provided the real impetus for the Toledo, Ohio-based company to return to corporate image advertising after two decades of relative silence.
“The decision, made before the Echlin acquisition, was that Dana needed to build a strong identity with its key business constituents and with its own people,” said Gary Corrigan, the company’s director of corporate communications. “Dana has grown into a global position and needs to be globally known.”
One ad focuses on Dana’s systems, components and assemblies for cars, trucks and off-highway vehicles. Another addresses plant constructions adjacent to customers’ operations.
Fahlgren’s Toledo office is agency of record on the $2 million Dana account. Prior to developing the corporate ads, which target securities analysts and Dana customers, Fahlgren’s work for Dana had consisted entirely of trade advertising for its major business units.
The first step in the rebranding process was to gauge awareness of the company. “The good news was there was no bad news,” Corrigan said. “There were no negatives [associated with Dana], but the research showed the company was not well-known.”
Corporate image ads were tested in several automotive trade publications before Dana and Fahlgren developed new executions for general business publications, Corrigan said.
The campaign is scheduled to run through January.