JWT’s Mindful of ‘Clear Thinking’

“Clear Thinking,” J. Walter Thompson’s new branding campaign for the Clarus Corp., breaks this week.

The agency’s Atlanta office won the $14 million account in a showdown with technology specialist Donino, White & Partners here.

“This win gives us another entry into a growing technology arena,” said Jeff White, JWT’s Atlanta general manager. “It’s a real company as opposed to some dot-com.”

The broadcast portion of the television and print effort—the first for the Atlanta-based business-to-business provider—kicks off on CNN, CNBC, ESPN and selected “appointment” cable TV outlets including the History and Discovery Channels. Commercials will run through Thanksgiving.

Print advertising is already appearing in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes and other business publications.

Clarus, with 1999 revenues of $38 million, provides software that enables companies to create digital marketplaces. The online exchanges, for example, allow users to offer aggregated buying benefits to small business clients.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railfroad used Clarus technology to auction locomotive engines over the Internet.

Clarus’ client roster includes Met Life, MasterCard International and Wachovia Bank.

Competitors include Ariba in Mountain View, Calif., and Commerce One in Pleasanton, Calif.

The agency’s 30-second TV spot transports a chief executive officer from the confusing “world of b-to-b commerce” to a digitized office where all people, processes and transactions are suddenly transparent. A voiceover intones: “… Imagine having the power to clearly see who you’re doing business with … What is being exchanged … Where your next opportunity lies.”

The spot was developed by executive creative director Mike Lollis, creative director Scott Nelson, copywriter Greg Carson and art directors John Gregory and Tom Moore. Digital Domain in Venice, Calif., handled production.

“This is a branding campaign to get Clarus to the top of people’s minds in the business-to-business community,” said JWT senior account supervisor Andrew Abend. “We’ll do product differentiation in the next phase of the campaign.”