Infosys’ B2B Marketing Strives to Find the Human Side of AI

In the not-so-distant past, a business-focused technology company could slap its logo onto a stadium, vehicle or athlete in a tech-savvy sport and connect its brand and products to the action. Since the introduction of Generative AI within the last year, however, firms like Bangalore-based Infosys increasingly have to use those partnerships as B2B demos…

Adweek’s B2B Innovation Award Winners

These B2B Innovation Award Winners Are Breathing New Life Into B2B Marketing

From unconventional full-funnel strategies to novel uses of artificial intelligence to provocative creative campaigns, B2B marketers are increasingly shaking off the notion that their style of marketing is staid and risk-averse. What we’ve found is they are wildly inventive, innovating at scale, transforming their industry and setting the tone for their B2C counterparts. Against this…

B2B Innovation Award Visionary of the Year: How Heather Freeland Rebuilt Adobe’s B2B Marketing

Although October 2022 was just a year ago, it feels like an entirely different era for Adobe. Heather Freeland joined Adobe that month as the company’s chief brand officer, just as Google, Microsoft and smaller, more nimble tech firms began making their very public push into generative AI. During her second week on the job,…

Linda Boff on Preserving the GE Legacy While Building Her Own

A young woman is hunched over her textbook like a gull on the water’s edge, so immersed in thermodynamic theory that she seems not to notice that she’s alone in the darkened room. Suddenly, the library’s green desk lamps flicker, light streaks through the large bay windows, and pages of ancient books turn by themselves….

The Unspoken Truth About CMO Churn

The typical chief marketing officer spends just 39 months, or about 3.3 years, in the role before hanging up their boots and exiting through the revolving door. According to leadership advisory firm Spencer Stuart’s annual CMO Tenure Study, the number hit its lowest in a decade in 2023 across the top 100 brands in the…

“People That Know, Know BDO.” Is That So?

“People That Know, Know BDO.” Thanks to the rhyme, it’s an easy line to say and recall. That doesn’t mean it’s a good line. A good line would tell us more about the “people that know,” and we’d know what BDO is and does, as well. Because acronyms are practically unknowable, a business that uses […]

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“We Speak Fleet” Is Circle K’s Way to the Weekday Warrior

I like to see business-to-business advertising that appeals to the person who will make the purchasing decision in decidedly human ways. Humor, for instance, is an underused approach in B2B. Circle K is helping to change the score with this campaign from Taylor, Nick Spooner director and Brooklyn-based production company. “My main marching orders were […]

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Is It An Experiential Ad for Sustainability, A Summer Home, Or Both?

A company known for its alternative fuels and commitment to sustainability has built a cabin in Finland to showcase its innovation. The Nolla (= zero) cabin, designed by Finnish designer Robin Falck, is located just outside Helsinki city center, on the Vallisaari island. The cabin has been built from sustainable materials and is designed for […]

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Are You Open to the Massive Business Opportunities in EQ?

Daniel Goleman’s seminal book Emotional Intelligence was a breakthrough in workplace dynamics. For the first time, we had to consider that intelligence alone is a poor metric for measuring or predicting career success. The thesis of the book is that an individual’s emotional intelligence quotient — their skill in innately human attributes like empathy and […]

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Awareness – Interest – Desire – Action

In 1898, Elias St.Elmo Lewis developed a model that mapped the consumers’ journey. Today, we call his framework the sales funnel. Some Marcom philosophers posit that the sales funnel is dead on arrival today. But Beth, an Associate Professor of Advertising at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication says not so fast. What […]

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Intel Appoints TBWAChiatDay as Its Global B2B Agency of Record

Intel Corporation appointed TBWAChiatDay as its global B2B agency of record following a three month review led by the client.

“Our company strategy is about powering the billions of smart, connected computing devices across the globe,” Intel director of business marketing strategy Kathy Garchow said in a statement. “Our work with TBWAChiatDay will help us better connect how our technology enables our business customers to achieve their success.”

The account will be run out of TBWAChiatDay’s Los Angeles office, in collaboration with TBWAChiatDay New York, while working in conjunction with TBWA teams in other markets, including TBWALondon, TBWAHakuhodo, TBWAGreater China, TBWADüsseldorf, and Omnicom sister shop Doremus. TBWAChiatDay will be tasked with developing an integrated global campaign targeting senior business and IT leaders. It is unclear when the agency’s first work is expected for the client. 

For TBWAChiatDay, the win follows its New York office scoring lead creative duties for Pespi’s Izze brand as the larger organization continues to rebound from losing AOR duties on Miller Lite this April

“We are thrilled to partner with Intel, a brand whose value, influence, and pioneering technologies continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible,” said TBWAChiatDay L.A. President Erin Riley, who succeeded 14-year TBWA vet Luis DeAnda in the position this May. “We look forward to working alongside our TBWA teams around the world to build an integrated brand platform that taps into culture and resonates with modern business customers.”

“Intel is a truly iconic brand that has powered incredible stories of innovation throughout its history,” added TBWAChiatDay L.A. executive creative director Linda Knight, who joined the agency last November. “We’re excited to create the kind of disruptive work that lives up to this spirit of breakthrough and possibility, and to bring a fresh approach to B2B communications.”

Fontyou – Even Fonts get old

Fontyou is the first web application which allows artistic directors and agencies to manage their font through the cloud, which also enables us to discover and improve the most beautiful typefaces of the world and to evolve with the help of the last typographical trends. Gone are the days of slowing one studio mac down with every typeface available, and hello browse your font collection from any agency device.

UPS Is About Way More Than Just Shipping Boxes in Its Heady New Global Push

UPS knows you’ve got problems, and it wants to help.

The shipping service is repositioning itself as a business-to-business solution for companies with logistical considerations trickier than just picking up and dropping off boxes. To that end, a new global campaign from Ogilvy debuts the tagline “United Problem Solvers” (because abbreviations can be puns too, see?).

The debut ad essentially calls on viewers to bring UPS their stickiest package delivery issues, while a montage of action shots show examples of how the company is working behind-the-scenes in of-the-moment industries. That means making sure medicine is transported at the right temperatures, and offbeat companies like paramotor manufacturers get the parts they need, and artisanal, fragile products arrive where they’re going in one piece. 

The new tagline does earn the honor of being more relatable, at least in theory, than the company’s last, similar-in-spirit “We [Heart] Logistics.” But the new execution feels, overall, a little like a self-help speech for snail mail—a heady conceptual attempt to communicate the idea that UPS is keeping pace with the design-and-innovation zeitgeist.

The overwrought copy, in particular, struggles at moments to turn the corner—trying to repurpose adjectives like “baffling” and “audacious” as nouns, which is kind of distracting, especially because baffling actually is a noun that means something totally different. Presumably UPS would be happy to ship your baffling, too, if your problems include baffling. That, assuming you didn’t actually want to ship your bafflements (also a noun UPS should never use in an ad), by writing all your big questions down on slips of paper and overnighting them to your future self for better, wiser answers. 

Or you could just post them somewhere on the Internet. Like, here’s one—what’s this ad about again?

(Via WSJ)

Construction Machines Play Jenga With 600-Pound Blocks

In this two-minute clip from Ogilvy & Mather in New York, five Caterpillar machines play a giant game of Jenga using 600-pound wooden blocks, as I'm sure they often do at real construction sites all over the world. (From what I've seen of hard-hat areas in commercials lately, it's clear that all kinds of amusing stuff goes on.)

The work, part of Cat's "Built For It" campaign, showcases the machines' precision handling, strength and agility in an engaging way, and it's proven quite popular on YouTube, tallying 1.1 million views since its posting last week.

Of course, Volvo's already driven a similar road, producing high-octane b-to-b videos, with Van Damme doing the splits and hamsters driving trucks.

Still, it's fun to watch Cat's shiny yellow telehandlers and excavators push, pull and lift the huge game pieces. Will the 8-ton tower topple? WILL IT?! Careful … CAREFUL …

Actually, this would be a lot more compelling if the vehicles transformed into futuristic robots that engaged in metal-mangling combat. Or if a cat drove one of the Cats. Sigh. Maybe next time.

Via Fast Company.

Bud Light To Anchor 4000-Room Party Boat in NYC for Super Bowl XLVIII VIPs

When I worked on the Coors business at Integer back in the day, the brewery provided a lot of perks, primarily in the form of baseball, basketball, hockey and concert tickets. Broncos tickets were above my pay scale at the time.

Not surprisingly, the King of Beers plays the perks game at an even higher level.


According to, Bud Light is leasing the 146,000-ton Norwegian Getaway for Super Bowl weekend 2014. The brand plans to use the ship as a floating hotel for 4,000 weekend guests.

At this time, the ship is still under construction in Germany. It’s scheduled to arrive in New York Jan. 26. The big game will be played February 2nd at MetLife Stadium. The game is being billed as “the first outdoor cold weather Super Bowl.”

Sadly, Joe Six-Pack won’t be able to book a room on the party boat — rooms are reserved for Bud Light VIPs, including key distributors and retailers.

David Daniels, marketing director for Bud Light speaking to ROI said, “An experience like this drives brand health and equity, and that will translate into sales long-term.”

You might wonder why a B2B event like this would impact sales. In beer, as in many things, you need shelf space at retail. No shelf space, no sales.

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Social Gets Some Big Time Face Time @Dreamforce 2013

Heads up SFO. A small city of people are flying in for Dreamforce, the annual user conference put on by in San Francisco this week.

According to reports, some of the Dreamforce badge wearers will be seeking information on how to incorporate social media marketing and social selling into their practice. Others may be looking for a good party to attend. I hear Green Day is performing at a VIP function. How punk rock is that?

According to USA TODAY’s preview piece on the conference, L’Oreal began using new marketing and analysis tools Salesforce rolled out this year.

The software helps automate the process of discovering the interests of existing customers, then deciding which promotions to send to their social media accounts, via text or video ads.

L’Oreal brand managers used it to sign up thousands of hair salon owners in the U.S., who in turn used it to create thousands of Facebook pages that were peppered with social media ads for shampoos and conditioners.

I am a huge fan of discovering the interests of existing customers. That’s the fuel on which marketing runs. But I will admit to getting hung up a bit with the idea that software will effectively automate the process. I’m not saying software does not work in this capacity, or that this particular software as a service is not needed. Rather, I want to question which sales and marketing processes can and should be automated, and which work best when done manually.

I know this much, an email does not equal a phone call and a phone call does not equal a face-to-face meeting. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, and possibly include said thoughts in an upcoming feature article.

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One Brand, Multiple Markets: Century Link Turns In Rough Mix

My favorite NFL team plays home games at Century Link Field.

The communications technology company also has a large presence in Omaha, my hometown. Therefore, I want to like Century Link, but a print ad like this subtracts several points from the “brand love” scorecard.

bad print ad

Worse than the say-nothing-to-no-one use of stock photography here, are phrases like “visionary cloud infrastructure” and “hosted IT solutions.” This copy is dead on arrival.

Sure, somebody somewhere does care about such things. Send these very fine buyers direct mail. When you opt to run a magazine ad or a TV spot, you’re speaking to a mass consumer audience who has little knowledge of, or concern for, your visionary cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions.

In this case, the problem is even worse given that Century Link is also a consumer brand, providing broadband, entertainment and voice services to millions of consumers across the U.S.

Say you are watching NFL football and you see this B2B spot:

Now compare and contrast the above with the following consumer offering?

The consumer spot appeals to me. What will I do with my gig?

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Oracle Sails Into Brand Sponsorship History

Oracle is no longer Oracle the tech giant run by an egomaniac. Through the power of sports (and sponsorship)–America’s Cup Sailing, in this instance–Oracle is now much better known as ORACLE TEAM USA. And ORACLE TEAM USA, founded on Aug. 11, 2000 by Larry Ellison, is a much friendlier front for the company.

Forget for a second about Oracle and its products, and look instead at these powerful brand impressions:

Oracle specializes in computer hardware systems and enterprise software products, particularly its own brands of database management systems. But the brand, as we’ve just seen, is on another page. It’s black, sexy and fast.

Add Puma, Tag Heuer and the American flag to the mix, and it’s all the more fashionable. Plus, when you consider the futuristic yacht design at the center of the sport today, and you set the action in San Francisco Bay, what you get is an attractive picture and gratitude to Oracle for providing it.

By the way, Louis Vuitton is the sponsor of America’s Cup, while Oracle is the Sponsor of TEAM USA. Take a look at some of the action, as New Zealand looks to challenge TEAM USA for the cup.

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Shipping Titan Finds Its Brand Voice And Its Footing In Social Media

What does a Danish shipping magnate want with transparency and social media storytelling? Nothing, according to its management team in Copenhagen. That is, until the team was turned around by Anna Granholm-Brun, corporate brand manager at Maersk Group.

According to MIT Sloan Management Review, California-native Granholm-Brun has been with Maersk for four and a half years, helping the company embrace a new social savvy. She developed the company’s first social media strategy with C-suite support and has grown Maersk’s social community. The company has over 1.45 million likes for the Maersk Facebook page alone and often gets over 100,000 views of its corporate videos at the Maersk YouTube channel.

Granholm-Brun said social media marketing was at first a tough sell internally. “Executives don’t have a lot of time, so it was a matter of making sure that results and findings within social media are spoken to them in a language that they pick up on — that is, we need to point out the business case.”

Ah, the business case. Here’s Maersk’s “business case” for building the world’s largest and most efficient ship.

The business case also comes down to people, and Maersk has 152,000 employees (and potential brand ambassadors) around the globe to call on.

Granholm-Brun says, “What we end up doing is telling the story of what Maersk does and how we do it and the values that we live by through the very trustworthy and honest voices of the people who work for us.”

It is safe to say, “brand voice” is no longer something best whipped up in an ad agency brainstorm. Rather, a real living brand voice — one with resonance and power — is an amalgamation of the human voices who work at the company. That’s the well, and a smart agency or internal marketing team will dip its pail there.

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