CDW's Bogus Firm Builds It, Hopes Team Will Come
Continuing its “People who get IT” theme, CDW (which provides technology solutions and consulting to businesses) showcases fictional “Gordon & Taylor” stadium, a technologically advanced arena with 3,000 screens, stadium-wide WiFi and a “cloud-infrastructure solution.”
“CDW has done a broad range of work with stadiums,” Dean Lamb, CDW’s director of integrated marketing, tells Marketing Daily. “We’re really trying to parallel [our work] with stadiums and what we’re able to do with our other customers.”
The campaign, from agency Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago, once again features Charles Barkley, who has appeared in previous campaigns as a ringer for the company’s basketball team and patsy on the golf course (and masquerading as an IT professional because the company’s IT needs are handled by CDW). In this commercial, Barkley shoots a T-shirt cannon into empty seats and watches a two-person marching band. “We don’t have a team,” Barkley tells the company’s confident CEO. “But we do have a halftime show.” He’s joined in the IT department by former Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie, whose advice to the company is to “go long.”
“The idea of the spot is doing a ‘Hail Mary,’ and one of the things he’s most known for is a Hail Mary,” Lamb says of the addition of Flutie to the bogus IT team.
While the company has used Barkley in a humorous way to send the message that CDW can handle a company’s IT needs, these new commercials are much more direct about the ways CDW has helped businesses, particularly sports teams.
“We wanted to continue the story line of Gordon & Taylor and Charles Barkley, but we also wanted to use the stadium as a proxy for what we do,” Lamb says. “As a marketer, you always want to make sure you’re clear what you’re talking about. This is a way to do that.”
The new commercials will begin airing next week during Monday Night Football, and will run during the season during professional and college football programming, Lamb says. The television campaign will be supported with radio, print and online advertising.