Brand: Accenture (consulting services)
Execution: TV & Print
Link: Click Here
Target: C-Level Fortune 1000 Executives
Rating: ** (TV) /**** (Print)
Accenture takes a successful print campaign and brings it to television – in a huge way. The campaign has 9 spots. Each spot features Tiger Woods playing golf. Most of them show him making impossible shots using skills that are then compared to skills that Accenture can help companies build through consulting or outsourcing.
This advertising blog has long been a fan of the print campaign that launched this television campaign. One execution in particular (shown above) has Tiger holding the visor of his cap to look at the lay of the green as he is putting. It is a perfect metaphor for focus and one that the golf-aware CEOs who comprise Accenture’s target audience will understand perfectly at a glance. Targeted print advertising is also a great way to reach these key targets for consulting business.
The television campaign has some funny and memorable moments. It also shows how great athletes, like great businesses do not function on ability alone. In one spot, Tiger’s mental calculations are revealed as he shoots for the green. When the shot bounces off the cup and lands two feet away Tiger exclaims, “I forgot to account for the rotation of the Earth!” It is one of the best moment of the campaigns as it simultaneously makes us laugh and reinforces the branding message for Accenture.
What Doesn’t Work
If this advertising blog believes these spots are so well executed, why do we give the television campaign such low marks? For two reasons:
- Star Brand drowns out Consulting Brand – Some advertisers seem to forget that when they hire a celebrity to endorse their brand, they are really bringing a second brand into the advertising. The ‘endorser brand’ is effective only when a lasting linkage can be made between the two brands. Accenture is the only business services company using Tiger as a spokesperson. But the reason they are using Tiger is because Accenture customers play golf in large numbers. Which means they also watch golf and other sports. In this capacity (as sports enthusiasts) the more relevant brand linkage for Tiger Woods is Nike. Try as they might, Accenture won’t drive Nike out of the mind of these people – even those CEO’s. There is simply not enough branding to make these spots good for anyone but Tiger Woods.
- Wasting Money on Wide Distribution Media - We are not sure who invented the idea of business to business companies advertising to hundreds of millions of consumers in order to reach a few thousand, but we are pretty sure that person was not spending his own money. The waste behind these commercials is staggering when you consider that Accenture probably knows the name and home address of every person in the U.S. who might potentially hire them as consultants. The standard response to this is that television allows image-building and enhances the reputation of the advertiser. Really? We would welcome the cold hard quantitative analysts at Accenture to prove that this campaign does anything more than improve top-of-mind brand recognition among their target audience. Given the efficiency of print advertising, conferences, events, word of mouth and other techniques for reaching small, targeted audiences, this expenditure on television shows a shocking disregard for efficiency.
Branding Bottom Line
No wonder those consultants charge so much … it’s the advertising.