McLeod Seeking a Broader Image

Peterson Milla Hooks uses hip illustrations with bold colors in ads introducing telecommunications provider McLeodUSA as more than just a phone book publisher.
The print and outdoor campaign is the first brand-building effort for the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, company, which, in addition to being one of the largest publishers of Yellow and White Pages, offers Internet, voicemail, paging and phone services. The work is intended to broaden the perception of McLeodUSA in its 12-state service area, said PMH account supervisor Lisa Nelson.
“They do everything,” she said. “We needed to tell people that, and do it in a really zippy way.”
The stylized illustrations from artist Calef Brown are intended to distinguish McLeodUSA as bolder than larger rivals such as Ameritech and U S West, Nelson said. Headlines such as “Fill your need for techno speed” highlight the company’s specific offerings, said creative director Joe Milla.
“We wanted to cut through the lifestyle ads and pricing messages,” Milla said. “[Our] approach not only makes you feel good about the brand, but speaks very directly about the company’s key benefits.”
The campaign is running in the Twin Cities, Detroit, Indianapolis and Milwaukee, and will reach more markets next year, Nelson said.
The shop picked up the McLeod business last year after the company bought PMH client Ovation Communications, Minneapolis. K