DMB&B Takes Southwestern Bell Into Home Security Category

Southwestern Bell is attempting to leverage its name recognition in the marketplace to sell its new home security systems to consumers who previously wouldn’t have considered such a service.
Two TV spots from D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in St. Louis break Oct. 1 in Tulsa, Okla., the first market in which the telecommunications company is offering the new home security service. The TV ads will be followed by direct response TV and direct mail programs in Tulsa and other markets in the company’s five-state region.
The campaign is intended to capture a large middle-class homeowner market that has yet to buy into the $10.2 billion a year home security business, a company representative said.
Rather than use fear as a motivator, DMB&B opted to focus on the convenience of getting home security set up through a local phone provider.
“Everybody in this category has a hand reaching through the door or a broken window,” said Ric Anello, executive vice president and executive creative director at the agency. “To stand out, we either had to be more horrific or go another way.”
The TV spots and subsequent print and direct response ads will feature a disgruntled Doberman pinscher named Spike, who’s upset because he’s been replaced as a watchdog. “I’ve had years of training, an impeccable record,” Spike says in a voiceover during one spot. “Protection, that was my game. Now I’m just the gardener.”
The advertising is themed, “The newest name in home security is the most reliable name you know.”
By emphasizing its name, Southwestern Bell hopes to attract customers who may be unfamiliar with home security leaders such as ADT and Honeywell.
Southwestern Bell provides system equipment and maintenance. Premier Detection, based in Portland, Ore., has been contracted to provide monitoring service.