Mullen Gets ‘Liberated’

Mullen targets Internet devel o p ers in a print campaign for Rational Software, a maker of Web development and e-commerce tools.

The effort, set to break this month, represents a new phase of the “Be liberated” campaign the agency began rolling out for the Cupertino, Calif.-based client late last year. This round of ads supports Rational’s XDE product line, designed to help developers create Web sites. XDE is also used for Internet proj ects that incorporate Micro soft’s Visual Stu dio.NET and IBM products based on Sun’s Java programming technology.

One ad shows a young man sitting cross-legged, busily working on a laptop. Lines such as, “I hate changes,” “I hate deadlines” and “I hate alt/tab” are interspersed with the line, “I love writing code.” The epithets run down the center of the ad, illumin ated like words on a computer screen.

Another execution shows a developer asleep on a couch, empty soda cans and pizza boxes strewn on the floor in front of him. Text underneath gives examples of what the programmer is able to achieve with Rational, such as, “Write faster code,” “Control revisions,” “Sim plify,” “Get a life” and so on.

The tag “Be liberated” closes each execution. The ads are running in various business and technology publications. Karen Schwartz wrote the copy, and Liz Doten served as art director. Will Burns serves as account director on the business at Mullen.

Media chores are handled by Carat Freeman, Newton, Mass.

Rational’s annual ad spending in recent years has been about $5-6 million, according to CMR. The company’s earnings have plummeted sharply lately, with a net loss of $64 million reported for the nine months ending Dec. 31, 2001, compared with a profit of more than $65 million for the same period the previous year.

Rational is hoping Mullen’s work will help turn the tide and make the company more competitive against several larger rivals with higher visibility in the marketplace, such as Computer Associates.

Mullen picked up the Rational business in late 2000 from Allen & Gerritsen, Watertown, Mass.