Letters of Intent Go Into Print

As any football coach will tell you, it’s not just the X’s and O’s that win games; it’s how you manipulate the symbols.

McKinney & Silver’s new print ads for XO Communications do exactly that, turning the logo’s “O” icon into a bull’s-eye, a buzz saw blade and a race car steering wheel.

“People don’t know what XO stands for,” said McKinney group creative director Liz Paradise.”So every ad is an insight into what the company is all about. It’s arare opportunity to use simplicityto define XO both visually andphilosophically.

Three taglines (“You’re in the bull’s-eye,” “Sever the tie” and “You’re in the driver’s seat”) reinforce the imagery.

The campaign breaks later this month in newspapers in 45 major markets. A magazine buy, targeting national business periodicals, debuts this spring.

The Raleigh, N.C., agency is also kicking off a radio effort, playing off the misguided and backward-looking “Charles Gaines,” the fictional chief executive of rival “MegaTelco.” Gaines was used to great effect in XO television spots last fall.

XO of Reston, Va., offers broadband communications services in the U.S., Canada and Europe.