Jan 19, 2016
For the first time in more than 20 years, Pitney Bowes has launched a large-scale $20 million integrated advertising initiative.
The company secured prime advertising time this past weekend for a special airing of their 60-second commercial ahead of the AFC Divisional Playoff game, where the New England Patriots hosted the Kansas City Chiefs.
The 60-second commercial (entitled “The Story of Commerce”) leads out with dramatic imagery flashing by and a voiceover stating:
“It’s big. It’s fast. It’s mind-boggling. It’s commerce. A world filled with complexity and chaos. A world also filled with growth and great opportunity. Get it right, you win. Get it wrong, you lose. To succeed you need precision and accuracy—the skills of a craftsman. And the proven skills of Pitney Bowes.”
When my wife watched it, she said “at first, I thought it was a commercial for IBM.”
It should come as no surprise that the transformation that Pitney Bowes is striving for is a bit IBM-esque. There are over 120 years of IBM experience between President and CEO Marc Lautenbach, and EVPs Abby Kohnstamm (CMO), Mark Shearer, Mark Wright, and Bob Guidotti. These individuals and other members of the PB leadership team appear determined to transform the core business and change the brand’s perception this time around.
Since Lautenbach joined Pitney Bowes in December 2012, the company has recruited new leadership, focused on strategic digital initiatives, and rebalanced its business portfolio. The company has sold off its international mailing business, its management services divisions, its document imaging solutions business in Canada, a furniture operation in Norway, and its marketing services organization (Imagitas). Over the last year, Pitney Bowes has launched a Global Ecommerce business unit, and acquired Borderfree and Seattle-based startup Enroute Systems. Lautenbach tapped standout former McKinsey & Company partner and most recent DMT president Lila Snyder to drive the Global Ecommerce group. From December 2012 through Friday’s market close, the Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI) stock price is up 65%.
Brand perception outside of the mailing industry has long been a hurdle for the company. With the launch of this advertising initiative, Pitney Bowes is signifying that its story is ready for the spotlight.
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