By Jeff Goss, President/Creative Director
Who thinks about what’s under the pavement, or those orange woven plastic fences alongside the highway, or those black plastic fences about knee-high attached to metal poles on construction sites. The answer is: not too many people. These are the products behind the scenes that make a difference in the daily lives of people, yet most don’t even know they exist.
Our client Amoco utilizes the by-product of oil production “Polypropylene” (most of us would identify it as plastic). The substance forms into little pellets to be melted down and formed into products that do a range of jobs in many industries and businesses.
Our client division Amoco Fabrics & Fibers made products used in the construction of products as mentioned above for things like stopping erosion and preventing pavement from cracking. Our target was “engineers,” and our client was an “engineer.” If you thought Marketing Directors were tough, try a Marketing Director who is an Engineer, ha-ha.
Well, actually, while our targets were very analytical, we did find there was acceptance of emotional appeal and communication of the product benefits in a creative, even humorous manner. That turned out to be quite unexpected in the category of straightforward, dry, dull messaging about the nuts and bolts.
We believe effective marketing combines two critical items, product benefit and knowledge of the prospect’s personality. We learned two very important things about the prospects: They had a big ego, and they were very risk-averse. This presented the perfect opportunity for a creative message that “broke ground,” pun intended. Because the Civil Engineer ignored most contact and advertising tying the benefit of the product to potential disasters as a result of their work, our presentation had them sweating beads of polypropylene.