CDW, which provides IT services for different sectors of the business world, is taking its celebrity spokesman, Charles Barkley, on the road as the member of a team of IT workers traveling by bus to help businesses run better.
In a campaign timed to take advantage of the college basketball tournaments in March, Barkley returns as a member of the IT department for a fictitious company, Gordon & Taylor. Having already deployed Barkley as a "ringer" to help win a corporate basketball tournament and to help the business by losing to golfers on the course, this time around CDW presents Barkley as a full member of the team, which has taken to heading across country in a bus.
“[Barkley] has a great sense of humor that allows us to break through in a compelling way. We believe that humor captures greater share of mind to market complex IT offerings in a relatable way,” Dean Lamb, senior manager of corporate brand marketing for CDW, tells Marketing Daily. “We also know that many IT professionals are avid sports fans, so Barkley is a natural fit there as well.”
In the video, the head of Gordon & Taylor explains his strategy. “If you want to win at business, you have to win on the road,” he says. “Fortunately, I have the ultimate road warrior on my team: Charles Barkley.” The video then goes on to explain how CDW outfitted the bus with printers, computers and even a server room. The team manages business through bumps (from potholes) and “the occasional detour” (such as being trapped outside by bears). But ultimately, the business succeeds because it works with “winners, like Charles Barkley and CDW,” the boss explains.
“We used the idea of a road trip as an overarching creative theme because it gives us a platform to highlight our mobility solutions offerings and products from our brand partners,” Lamb says. “Being able to win and deliver results on the road is important in today's complex business world, so this campaign helps reinforce the idea that CDW is there to help customers navigate in this environment.”
The campaign also includes a full microsite, which gives users a chance to follow the bus trip through videos and explore how CDW helps power sports facilities, as well as social media and internal engagement programs. Television spots for the campaign will run on networks such as CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV during college basketball programming.
“This an integrated campaign with a lot of social media support as well,” Lamb says. “We have a supporting campaign on leading social networks with social advertising and exclusive content for our Twitter and Facebook pages.”