DGWB Shifts Strategy for Toshiba Copy Machines

Toshiba America Business Systems is using the Winter Olympics as a springboard for a new slate of ads aimed at building brand awareness for its copy machines.

The first of four 15-second TV spots from DGWB, Santa Ana, Calif., is running on MSNBC during the cable network’s Olympic coverage. The other three ads will break in early March on at least eight major cable networks.

DGWB’s Toshiba account is worth $10 million annually. Spending for this effort was undisclosed, but the agency said it is one of the most aggressive media buys it has made in its three years on the account.

The ads are build around the theme “Unsung heroes” and position the Toshiba copy machine as a workhorse that operates behind the scenes to make its users look good. A somber, somewhat sarcastic voiceover conveys the thoughts of a copy machine that has grown tired of seeing others get credit for the work it produces. The ads conclude with new tagline, “Toshiba copiers make you look good.”

This is the first time the client has used 15-second TV spots. Client vp of marketing Mark Matthews said moving away from 30-second ads is calculated to improve awareness.

“Our big problem is that Toshiba is not commonly associated with copy machines,” said Matthews. He said the Irvine, Calif., division has a 6 percent market share in a category that remains dominated by Xerox and Canon. The spots, he added, reflect the company’s sense that it is underappreciated among business users.

“Our research shows that if we are among the brands considered, we have a high rate of acceptance. Our objective is to be among the brands considered,” he said.

DGWB executive creative director Jon Gothold said the new spots build on previous work. “The first couple of years we used some edgy work to get the name out and let people know that Toshiba makes quality copiers,” he said. “Now, as the account evolves, we’re saying, ‘Yes, Toshiba makes copiers. And here is why you should buy one.’ “