One Brand, Multiple Markets: Century Link Turns In Rough Mix

My favorite NFL team plays home games at Century Link Field.

The communications technology company also has a large presence in Omaha, my hometown. Therefore, I want to like Century Link, but a print ad like this subtracts several points from the “brand love” scorecard.

bad print ad

Worse than the say-nothing-to-no-one use of stock photography here, are phrases like “visionary cloud infrastructure” and “hosted IT solutions.” This copy is dead on arrival.

Sure, somebody somewhere does care about such things. Send these very fine buyers direct mail. When you opt to run a magazine ad or a TV spot, you’re speaking to a mass consumer audience who has little knowledge of, or concern for, your visionary cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions.

In this case, the problem is even worse given that Century Link is also a consumer brand, providing broadband, entertainment and voice services to millions of consumers across the U.S.

Say you are watching NFL football and you see this B2B spot:

Now compare and contrast the above with the following consumer offering?

The consumer spot appeals to me. What will I do with my gig?



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.