Kyocera, maker of high-end office copiers and printers, is going for substance over style when it comes to a celebrity endorsement in a new advertising campaign.
"Our thinking was guided by Kyocera's president, who believes we're really in a new world where people really have to watch what they're doing in terms of controlling costs," Livingston Miller, president of Seiter & Miller, the agency behind the campaign, tells Marketing Daily. "What we tried to find was someone who was credible -- particularly an economist."
For the effort, the Fairfield, N.J.-based company has enlisted economist Peter Morici to tout the financial benefits of owning a Kyocera copier over one of the other brands. "As an economist, I frequently speak with business leaders," Morici says at the onset of the spot. "And I'm shocked -- no -- outraged at how some companies manage their printing. No one tracking service costs. No idea how much they pay for supplies. No idea how much they can save." He then explains that by bringing in Kyocera, companies can manage their printing more efficiently and effectively. "It's really not that complicated," Morici concludes.
In a second commercial, Morici explains that many companies buy inexpensive printers and then wind up paying more for services and supplies. "Bad fiscal policy," he chides.
"The key [to the campaign] is the total cost of ownership," Miller says. "Look at the cost five or 10 years. [Buyers] can save dramatic money over a period of time. That seemed like a narrative that an economist would be able to explain."
Although perhaps not as well known as Ron Howard (who is appearing in a campaign for Canon USA's cameras, as we reported), he does appear regularly on cable networks such as Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, speaking on economic issues.
"People probably recognize him and his bowtie, but they wouldn't have come up with a name very well," Miller says. "How many famous economists are there? We thought it was a great thing that people would be familiar with the face and the authority, if not the name."