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Unisys Targets Just 20 Execs With Ad Campaign 159

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes, "Security company Unisys is taking niche marketing to a new level, aiming ads at about 20 top executives, delivering custom-covered issues of their Fortune magazine subscriptions, and even placing billboards where these individuals will be likely to see them, the Wall Street Journal reports." From the article: "If an executive flips over the mock Fortune cover, he or she will discover a letter — also individually tailored — from a senior Unisys manager describing challenges in the target's specific industry. The Fortune 'cover wraps' also offer personalized Web addresses, where the executives can find mock news videos that mention their names and tell how they achieved business success. To reinforce the message, Unisys is placing billboards and outdoor signs — albeit without information-chief portraits — close to the executives' offices. Some ads will even appear on video screens in the elevators of their office buildings."
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Unisys Targets Just 20 Execs With Ad Campaign

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  • Cool... or Creepy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gbulmash ( 688770 ) * <.moc.oohay. .ta. .suomaf_imes.> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @01:11PM (#16563788) Homepage Journal
    I'm torn as to whether this is cool or creepy. On the one hand, it sounds pretty cool because it's so individualized and personalized. On the other hand, if I was the target of this kind of marketing ploy, I might feel like I had a well-connected, well-financed stalker.

    People talk about how advertising is becoming more invasive. It's everywhere. But what about when it knows who you are and maybe knows a little too much about you? Imagine a urinal that got your ID from your phone via bluetooth, analyzed your urine, and then said: "Hi, Bob. Noticed a high level of sodium in your urine. Ask your doctor about Gronkaflix XP. Better yet, I see that Doctor Finkelberg is your doctor of record. Say 'yes' if you'd like me to e-mail him the results of my analysis of your urine, Bob."

    I don't know. While this Unisys campaign will impress some people as cool, it just makes me feel we're one step closer to nosy urinals.

    - Greg
    • No YOU are creepy for coming up with such ideas ;) ! Just how? How did you manage to...? Ah fsck that I give up. I must not be inventive enough.
      • No YOU are creepy for coming up with such ideas ;) ! Just how? How did you manage to...?

        During a recent bout of insomnia, I watched a movie [imdb.com] where a urinal in a guy's apartment did that for him every morning and reported the results to a central computer. With the current existence of ad kiosks targeting bluetooth phones as you walk by, it wasn't too hard to combine the two into something that gave off a good creepy sense of invaded privacy.

        -Greg

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @01:24PM (#16564052)
        Dear Friend,
         
        I am the manager of UNISYS at the foreign remittance department.
         
        In my department we discovered an abandoned sum of U.S$25M US dollars
        (Twenty five Million US dollars) in an account that belongs to one of
        our foreign customer who died along with his entire family in November 2002
        in a plane crash.
         
        Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next if
        kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless
        somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as
        indicated in our banking guidlines and laws but unfortunately we learnt that
        all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongside with him at the
        plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim.
         
        It is therefore upon this discovery that I now decided to make this business
        proposal to you so that the money will be released to you as the next
        of kin or relation to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement
        since nobody is coming for it and we don't want this money to go into the
        bank treasury as unclaimed bill.
         
        The banking law and guidline here stipulates that if such money
        remained unclaimed after four years, the money will be transfered into the bank
        treasury as unclaimed bill. The request of foreigner as next of kin in
        this business is occassioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner
        and a Burkinabe cannot stand as next of kin to a foreigner.
         
        I propose that 30% of this money will be for you as my foreign
        partner, in respect to the provision of a foreign account, 10% will be set aside
        for expenses incured during the business and 60% would be for me.
        Thereafter I will visit your country for disbursement according to the percentages
        indicated.
         
        Therefore, to enable the immediate transfer of this fund to you as
        arranged, you must apply first to the bank as relation or next of kin of the
        deceased indicating your bank name, your bank account number, your private
        telephone and fax number for easy and effective communication and location
        wherein the money will be remitted.
         
        Upon receipt of your reply, I will send to you by e-mail a text of the
        application which you'll fill in and send to the bank's email address..
        I will not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is
        hitch-free and that you should not entertain any atom of fear as all required
        arrangements have been made for the transfer.
         
        You should contact me immediately as soon as you receive this letter
        for further clearifications.
         
        Yours faithfully,
        . DR HASHEEM HASEEMAPOOTOOLAH
        • SO how many of us have gotten this one in their email box?
          • by rk ( 6314 ) *

            "O how many of us have gotten this one in their email box?"

            Never. In any 419 I've received, the typography is never that good.

    • Not to mention that I'd be concerned about a company who's executive were moved by such flattery.

      Business as usual, eh?
    • by Nanoda ( 591299 )
      I totally agree. At first it seems nifty that you can get your product info to the high rollers, but you know that as soon as it gets more developed you'll be walking through the mall and every available surface will be nattering that John Anderton needs to buy Guinness and a Lexus.
    • Whenever I see an ad that's annoying, I make it a point NOT to buy the product being advertised.
      • Me, too. In fact, if more people did this, ads would become less annoying.

        Oh, who am I kidding, they'd just pay Congress to pass a law making ads mandatory.

        • "Congress to pass a law making ANNOYING ads mandatory." There, I fixed it for you.

          But yeah, I do the same. It doesn't seem to be working. In my country, ads actually aiming to be "loathsome"! :( If they are then at least you'll have an opinion, or whatever the thought is. It stinks.

          I just wish my HD recorder could skip ads automatically, but apparently that's not allowed, or supported, here.
    • by Arwing ( 951573 )
      It's creepy, it reminds me the scene from Minority Report where they can your eye and pull out all your personal purchasing information. Asking you "How did you like that Windows XP you purchased?" (it sucked). But somehow I can see this becoming a trend as the printing technology grow, I mean, this is what google is basically doing, right?
      • by Captain Splendid ( 673276 ) <capsplendid@gma i l .com> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @02:33PM (#16565390) Homepage Journal
        While this "invasion of privacy" is a little unsettling, we're talking about 20 very high-profile people here, not John Q. public.

        Also, everybody seems to be missing the other half of the story, namely how they targeted specifically this small group of people instead of wasting more money on a broader campaign. How much money did they save? How much more were they free to spend since they were targeting such a small group? How does the creativity angle work when you're targeting one guy instead of a large, poorly-defined wad?

        The privacy angle here is a red herring. We should be talking about Advertising and marketing getting out of the 19th century.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kfg ( 145172 )
      On the other hand, if I was the target of this kind of marketing ploy, I might feel like I had a well-connected, well-financed stalker.

      They're called "salesmen."

      KFG
      • Yeah, but "salesmen" are less prone to horrifying technical glitches.
        McNealy accidentally opens the copy intended for Steve Jobs, featuring a concert shot of Soundgarden doing "Black Hole Sun".
        And, should a salesman do something of that magnitude, you can retaliate much better.
        The inatimate object abuse in "Office Space", over the long haul, just isn't satisfying.
        • Yeah, but "salesmen" are less prone to horrifying technical glitches.

          Homer: Good evening, Madam. You have been selected by the good people of
          Slash-Co to reap the benefits of their new Nev-R-Dull knife edge.
          Here, shake hands with the Slash-Co! [hands her the knife]
          Woman: [grabs the wrong end] Aaaaaagh!

    • Unisys has been a real brain trust from day one. Not! Instead of keeping one of their well established and respected names after merging Sperry and Burroughs, they cooked up a new one, and became a leviathan of a company that no one had ever heard of. They are lucky they survived.
      • Much to the chagrine of their new management (if you can call the folks that've been running the company since 1986 "new"), it's the traditional mainframe customers (airline and transportation sectors) that have helped a lot to keep the company afloat over the years.

        I've never heard Unisys called a "security" company before, though... :-)
      • I see Univac.com is for some outfit called "Universal Vacations and Realty" -- pathetic.
    • On the other hand, if I was the target of this kind of marketing ploy, I might feel like I had a well-connected, well-financed stalker.

      Believe me, the C*O's that these ads target will love the attention.

      Anyhoo, if I could be guaranteed that my records were secured, I wouldn't have much trouble with a urinal asking me if I want my doctor to know I have high sodium. More strongly, I wouldn't care what a system knew about me, or what correlates it infers, as long as (a) those records are secure, and (b) th

    • by joshetc ( 955226 )
      I'm just trying to figure out why they are spending all this money to try to sell crappy cordless phones to top business execs?
    • imagine getting back to your seat and having ads in your inbox for Purell Hand Sanitizer (Bob, you didn't wash your hands), Dockers Stain Resistant pants due to the occasional splatter-back, and, of course, Whizzinators [whizzinator.com].
    • Whoa, I read that thing, and your post, and shuddered.

      If I could ask my newspaper to skip the sports section and plop in a tech section instead, that'd be great; but if tomorrow's paper said 'Hi Klay!', or even worse if there were me-targeted ads outside my front window, I'd be "creeped out" (?) for sure!

      Anyway it probably would not work; whenever I detect I'm being subjected to an ad I do my best to stay the hell away from that product, or do my own market research.
  • Oh wow...whats next? Toilet paper with ads for microsoft vista ?(that would be cool)

    or possibly a toilet that tells you, when flushed, that crest (tm) toothpaste whitens your teeth?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rbf2000 ( 862211 )
      So, whatever happened to good old fashioned house calls? I mean, if they are spending this much to influence 20 people, couldn't they just hire a lobbyist or somebody that can sweet talk them into whatever it is that they are selling?

      With such a small group of people being targeted, this just seems like a terribly inefficient way to sell your service.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ReidMaynard ( 161608 )
        or a real hottie. Hotties can sell anything.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Hotties can almost sell anything, the exception is if they're trying to sell something to an ugly, or fat, woman. Then they tend to get shot down, and usually not based on the merits of their product - but because of jealously.

          Selling to another hottie tends to result in a cancellation of the hottie effect. Unless the two hotties are into each other, then a sale may result - and the two may go out on a date later.
          • by Dunbal ( 464142 )
            the exception is if they're trying to sell something to an ugly, or fat, woman.

                  There are male hotties too.
      • With such a small group of people being targeted, this just seems like a terribly inefficient way to sell your service.

        Actually, its highly efficient.

        These are CIO's at 20 Fortune 500 companies. If they decide to move forward on a company wide security initiative you're talking about a project that could take 2-3 years and millions of dollars to implement. If Unisys grabs just one sale from this, they have more than paid for the marketing. I don't think this initiative cost them any more than $700,000.

        Plus,
      • So, whatever happened to good old fashioned house calls?

        In some cases, you have to watch the "types" of money that you use to influence a person. Say that Company A and Company B are both large government contractors competing on a large multi-year contract. Which ever company loses this contract will likely have to downsize or shift a lot of employees to other work. The companies also lose the ability to keep their employees fresh on the latest developments and training in whatever the contract relat
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Oh wow...whats next? Toilet paper with ads for microsoft vista ?(that would be cool)

      How about SCO Toilet Paper [neo5k.de]?
    • by Dunbal ( 464142 )
      Toilet paper with ads for microsoft vista ?(that would be cool)

            Not so cool because it would phone home and tell Microsoft what you had for lunch yesterday, and of course it would be exploited to spam you about Preparation H and "My you have a small penis, ENLARGE IT TODAY!"...
  • Is this supposed to be something new? The small/meduim sized company where I work sent out iPods with out logo etched on the back and a podcast on them to a few dozen execs in the industry. This was a year or two ago. This sort of targeted, small scale advertising was all the rage not that long ago.

  • Just for the execs? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by solevita ( 967690 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @01:22PM (#16564012)
    If this was just for top buisness executives, why'd it get viewed by millions in this slash-vertisment? Obviously Unisys is advertising to all of us, albiet through a new and novel means.
    • by SJasperson ( 811166 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @02:30PM (#16565358)
      Not quite. This isn't a slashvertisement for Unisys. It's a slashvertisement for their new hip ultra-cool marketing firm (mentioned by name in TFA, but I'm not going to give them more notice here) who hope other corporate sales and marketing drones will say "hey, what a cool idea, I've gotta get me some of that hypermarketing stuff too!"
  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @01:22PM (#16564026)
    ... sales execs who've actually done some homework on the dozen or so people in the entire universe likely to meaningfully purchase what they have to sell will be taking these guys on golf outings. I mean, how creepy is that? They'll probably even shake hands!
    • by spun ( 1352 )
      What's creepy is the level of concentration of wealth, power and influence. It's starting to feel like the vast majority of humanity just doesn't matter. That may give some people a stiffy, but it creeps me out. If it gets to the point where we really don't matter, and they have all the power, what do you think the outcome will be?
      • by MasterC ( 70492 )
        If it gets to the point where we really don't matter, and they have all the power, what do you think the outcome will be?
        I think Karl Marx [wikipedia.org] would chime in on that one...if he had a /. account...and were, you know, alive...

      • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @01:39PM (#16564402)
        What's creepy is the level of concentration of wealth, power and influence

        What are you talking about? The guy with something to sell is representing products or services that are worth millions of dollars. He's not selling one single large diamond he inherited from his grandfather, The Duke. What he's selling is produced by hundreds or thousands of employees, all of whom in turn use products and services supplied by other people in the course of doing what they do. They all take home their paychecks and spend it on all sorts of other things.

        Then you've got the guy he's selling to. Did you think we're talking about yachts, here, or gold-plated horse trailers? It's big-ticket IT stuff that is used to power entire business operations - upon which (at the scale we're talking about), hundreds or thousands of people will do their jobs and serve, in turn, their customers.

        Just because the sales guy has a vested interest in persuading a higher-end decision maker to go one way versus another doesn't mean the decision is made in a vacuum. At that level, the decision maker is answerable to a board of directors, investors, and so on.

        Like or not, large employers that do a lot of things for a lot of customers and staff use big-ticket things, like airplanes and server farms. Someone sells them, and someone decides which ones to buy. And it's rarely about just one technical dividing point or another - there's finances, support, legal issues, security reputations, and much more that figure into it. If you don't have the face time and easy relationship with someone who has to weigh all of that, you don't have a chance to convey everything you have to say.

        The point of my comment is that this is the oldest story in the book, and just because some newer methods of getting a little attention and face time have evolved, the need for suppliers to woo purchasers hasn't changed one bit.
        • That said... If I happened to be in a state of power and any of my underlings bought a product because they saw a nifty billboard or were taking out on a nice golf trip, I'd be rather irrate on misuse of company resources.

          Not because it shows a misuse of company resources towards something that was chosen because of perks, but rather showing what kind of character that person is when making important decisions.

          Of course usually its the person on top who is the one blinded by human desires which often destro
          • by TeraCo ( 410407 )
            That said... If I happened to be in a state of power and any of my underlings bought a product because they saw a nifty billboard or were taking out on a nice golf trip, I'd be rather irrate on misuse of company resources.

            What if you were in the market for the product? ie: Company Y sells Product Q. Customer A uses Q a lot, but is unhappy with the quality of Q they're getting from Company X (This is where 'Commercial Intelligence' comes to the party.) Company Y thinks "Aha, I will personalise my pitch of

    • by Dunbal ( 464142 )
      will be taking these guys on golf outings. I mean, how creepy is that?

            Inviting someone to a game of golf, or to a party, or a seminar, or whatever is a lot less creepy than this indirect approach.
      • will be taking these guys on golf outings. I mean, how creepy is that?
        >>Inviting someone to a game of golf, or to a party, or a seminar, or whatever is a lot less creepy than this indirect approach


        *checks sarcasm meter* ... *tap tap tap*

        Is this thing on?
    • What's creepy is that Unisys DID NOT take these guys golfing! If I were a CEO of a F500 company, I would be a long more inclined to spend a million bucks with some guy shaking my hand than with a faceless company sending me fake magazines.
  • Salesmen? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The One and Only ( 691315 ) <[ten.hclewlihp] [ta] [lihp]> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @01:23PM (#16564038) Homepage

    If your target market is 20 individuals whom you all know by name, isn't it standard to do something like have your salesmen get in touch with them for a face-to-face discussion?

    Admittedly, the personal letters are a step in this direction, but the main effect of advertising--on anyone--is simply to remind them the product exists. Convincing them to buy it falls more heavily on other forms of sales and marketing. Then again, sometimes experimental marketing produces unexpected results.

    • by Azarael ( 896715 )
      It sounds like the ultimate act of pretension to me. Unisys: 'We'll just toss a bunch of ads where those guys will see them and they'll just come running!'.
      • by Mr Z ( 6791 )

        Actually, I think these are intended to make it easier for Unisys to get on the calendars of the VPs and CIOs below the CEO. Chances are, Unisys probably isn't interested in meeting with the CEO. But, when they call the CIO or one of the lower levels of management that might need to get approval from above, it becomes easier if the folks above have heard of Unisys and what it's offering and how it's relevant.

        --Joe
    • Re:Salesmen? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @01:51PM (#16564678) Homepage
      If your target market is 20 individuals whom you all know by name, isn't it standard to do something like have your salesmen get in touch with them for a face-to-face discussion?

      If your salesmen can get their foot in the door to get an appointment to see one of such a rarified group of executives. I don't imagine they are people whose schedule is easy to get onto.

      They're doing a pitch which says "see, we know exactly what your business needs are, and we have some offerings for you. Why not call us, and we'll tell you more."

      I should think a personalized edition of Fortune magazine is going to catch your attention, and probably appeal to your vanity. It might have them calling you asking what you can really do for them, which probably makes the whole sales cycle a lot easier to do.

      I suspect if they could close two deals (and probably a single one) from this, they would be sufficiently large to cover the costs of such a specialized marketing campaign. And, if nothing else, the other 18 or 19 have you fresh in their minds.

      Cheers
      • I should think a personalized edition of Fortune magazine is going to catch your attention, and probably appeal to your vanity.

        The problem is that even if you succeed at catching the attention of these key executives, there's not going to be any basis for discussion within their organizations because nobody else has seen the materials. Few, if any, CEOs make unilateral decisions based on advertising they've seen; they want their subordinates to field the ball and present the case to them if it has merit. Th
        • The problem is that even if you succeed at catching the attention of these key executives, there's not going to be any basis for discussion within their organizations because nobody else has seen the materials. Few, if any, CEOs make unilateral decisions based on advertising they've seen; they want their subordinates to field the ball and present the case to them if it has merit.

          Very true, and a good point.

          But, if the CFO (I believe that was mostly the target group) or the CEO comes to the subordinates and

          • Me, I try not to be in the same room as anyone with a C*O designation if I can avoid it.

            I know what you mean. C3PO has to be the most irritating twat of a bot ever built.

    • People in those positions have admin staff that isolate them from the phone call. Strangely, those same staff usually screen mailings. So - I doubt that these magazines will reach their targets unscathed... that and the fact that most execs I know don't read fortune! They read the rags in their vertical, or their favorite hobby rag. When fluff comes it, it gets put on the waiting room table.

          When time is a precious commodity, you get other people to waste it...
      • by Dunbal ( 464142 )
        People in those positions have admin staff that isolate them from the phone call.

        There is a reason these people exist. Attempts to bypass will NOT improve their chances of making a "sale".

        As a personal example, I am a physician, and I do NOT answer my telephone. If I speak on the phone the conversation inevitably heads towards the patient trying to get me to commit to a diagnosis or prescribe something over the telephone. First, this is not the way medicine is don
    • by Ibag ( 101144 )
      If I had to guess, I would say that this kind of marketing is akin to the way companies will hire people to talk to their "friends" on the street about how awesome a new album is or to go to a bar and talk about how great their drink is, or something along those lines. When people aren't directly targeted with what they view as advertising, they are more susceptible to the pitch. Similarly, when an executive doesn't realize that the adds are tailored especially for him, he is less on his guard. I think t
  • Oh, great. Just fscking Great. This means we're only 20 years or less from the advertising crap seen in Minority Report [imdb.com]

    ...anyone got a pair of laser-proof eyeglasses I can borrow?

    /P

  • Seems the ideas in the Minority Report (eg billboards targeted just to the person the advert is aimed at) are starting to have a basis in reality instead of just science fiction.
  • 1) Since when is Unisys a "security company"?

    2) Going to their website to look into #1, I not only see that is that their current persona, but also that the top headline in their News section is "FBI contracts with Unisys for combined DNA index system." So the guy worrying about being individually marketed to by his urinal may not be so far off.

    • by arose ( 644256 )
      Since when is Unisys a "security company"?
      Nice GIF writting software, it would be a shame if anything happened to it...
  • I think this would annoy or creep out the average person, whereas top level execs would probably love to hear how great they are from billboards or the mock videos.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @01:30PM (#16564182) Journal
    What happened to the old fashioned way of sending sales reps with blond bombshell "assistants" to get these 20 bozos and ply them with wine and fine food and golf outings and "business" trips to Cayman islands? Reminds me of a spoof ad for an insecticide:

    User Guide to Unisys Mosquito Killer

    1. Catch the mosquito and pluck its wings so it does not fly away.

    2. Lay the mosquito on its back and tickle its feet.

    3. When the moquito opens its mouth to laugh, dump the Unisys Mosquito Killer into its mouth.

    • by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @04:08PM (#16567070) Homepage Journal
      What happened to the old fashioned way of sending sales reps with blond bombshell "assistants" to get these 20 bozos and ply them with wine and fine food and golf outings and "business" trips to Cayman islands?

      I think, as someone else pointe out, that the issue is that, with so many companies competing for the attention of these execs and all offering blonde bombshells and trips to the Caymans, managing to get picked to be one of the companies supplying such things and hence getting contact with the execs, is rather hard. To get to that stage you first have to compete for their attention at all - and that's most likely what this campaign is about.
  • When HP was spying on journalists, it was just a trial run for their new partnership with Unisys for spying on victims^H^H^H^H^H^H^H prospective customers.

    Indeed, Unisys IS spying on these executives through a company named PHD (which suspiciously contains HP in its name)

    "To guarantee the executives in question would see the billboards erected near their offices, field teams from PHD tried to figure out how they might commute to work. In some cases, such as around Citigroup's building on Lexington Avenue in
  • by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @01:48PM (#16564590) Journal
    I hope they didn't spend a lot of money stalking/targeting the CEO of HP. Might be a short campaign.
  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @01:54PM (#16564720)
    If you're in radio earshot of the capital beltway, you can always tell when some congressional committee or federal procurement process is closing in on a big contract decision. The local AM radio stations (and NPR sponsorship slots) will fill up with advertisements that can only be meant to influence about half a dozen people.
    • by Leebert ( 1694 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @02:23PM (#16565228)
      If you're in radio earshot of the capital beltway...The local AM radio stations (and NPR sponsorship slots) will fill up with advertisements that can only be meant to influence about half a dozen people.


      It worked with me, I love my new littoral combat ship. ;)
      • It worked with me, I love my new littoral combat ship. ;)

        Hey, I almost got that! But since I like faster stuff, I opted for a Joint Strike Fighter. But stupid me (early adopter!), I got the one from Boeing instead of the final one from Lockheed. It's like owning a flying Betamax. Oh well, it still has Firewire, and it runs Linux if you don't care about the display drivers or compatibility with cheaper imported air-to-air missle hardware.
  • Wasn't this first?: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0853096/ [imdb.com]
  • Where does advertising cross the line between informing someone of a product, and criminal harrassment?

    The measures outlined in the header seem a little extreme. Are they so sure that some of these execs simply won't cancel their magazine subscription - I mean after all if a magazine that is prepared to do this for a buck, how unbiased can the content be? Why can't this corporation contact the execs by the normal methods of telephone, sales reps, letters, etc. Why do they feel they
  • When I think of UniSys I think of the submarine patent on gifs, and the "burn all gifs" campaign.

    I suppose that there are worse companies to do business with...I could even hazard a guess at the names of a few. Still, UniSys isn't a company that *I* would choose to do business with unless there were not a decent alternative.
  • They're a vanilla IT corporation. Is having the first word of the submission be inaccurate a first?
  • It sounds like something out of that film with Michael Douglas, "The Game".
  • by Brandybuck ( 704397 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @02:38PM (#16565486) Homepage Journal
    Whoever did this ad campaign should be fired, dumped in the gutter, and blackballed from the industry. Why? Because a simple sales call would have accomplished the same thing for a tenth of a percent the cost.
    • Consider that the attention span of the person accepting the telemarketing call (if they accept it) is about 5 minutes at best.

      Now formulate a sales pitch that highlights what Unisys has to offer within that time frame in a way sure to grab the attention of the call taker, and convince the call taker to relay information and interest up stream to the person who signs the checks. CIO/CEO's often don't take marketing calls :)

      Furthermore, within that 5 minutes, convince the call taker to give you information a
    • by hugzz ( 712021 )
      Whoever did this ad campaign should

      be fired, dumped in the gutter, and blackballed from the industry. Why? Because a simple sales call would have accomplished the same thing for a tenth of a percent the cost.

      But it wouldn't get on slashdot, would it? Marketing

  • Ads, thats the ONLY 5 people LEFT on the planet that DO NOT HATE UNISYS, and have not had a crappy experience using their HARDWARE and heinously restrictive software and support.
  • I thought they would have lost their raison d'etre by now after their GIF patent-thingy expired.
  • So they're a security company? Are they, perchance, offering information security? Something along the lines of: "If you worked with us, your personally-identifying information wouldn't be out there for every Tom, Dick and Adman to find and exploit"???
  • It's obvious to them, and anyone, that it's targeted to them, so the fact it's on a magazine, should carry no more weight than a simple office memo, but far more expensive and time consuming to produce. Are their executives really that stupid and impressionable from a print ad??

    Stupidist idea I've seen in awhile. Hard to believe Unisys is still dominating the computing industry, despite these brilliant ideas. Oh, wait...
    • what i guess unisys is hoping is that the mailroom guys/secratery will pass the execs fortune subscription to the exec directly since he presumablly asked for it and therefore they will slip thier message past the normal protection schemes.

  • Around 20 high-ranking executives at corporations such as Subaru of America, DHL, Citigroup and Northwest Airlines will get a surprise when Fortune magazine arrives on their desks this week. Each will find his or her own face gracing the cover.

    Actually, I doubt they will be surprised since it has already been reported in the Wall Street Journal.
  • Back in the early 70s I worked for Burroughs supporting their largest mainframes. Burroughs later merged with Sperry to form Unisys. We had an account manager who needed to get the attention of the executives in charge of all the regional IBM systems. In those days the safe choice was IBM, but the other smaller vendors each had much better products. They simply couldn't exist in that environment If they weren't superior to IBM. it was well known that "no one got fired for choosing IBM." So, one day he sent
  • to the market share myth.
  • sneaker companies were taking out rival billboards in Akron Ohio where I used to live when Lebron James was still in high school. The target audience was one, Lebron James. The message was basically please sign with us.
  • by therblig ( 543426 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @04:58PM (#16567912)
    They are targeting more than twenty people. They are targeting twenty people and all the people who are going to pester them because SOME of the targeted advertising will be seen by their superiors. The fact that a company has one of the twenty targets should be enough to generate a buzz that requires attention to be paid to the ads.

    It's a clever way of forcing you to pay attention to the sales pitch. I've had salesmen decide the best way to get through to me was to go over my head to my boss. It's too heavy handed and has never worked. This may be a better way of going over someone's head.
  • Are Fortune's subscriber lists open to any buyer?
    How did Unisys know these people even had Fortune subscriptions?

    Sure, it starts small. But I don't like where it might be going...

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