Showcase #3: roping the big one

Lassoo moves at whip-like speed to deliver cracking integrated campaigns

Lassoo moves at whip-like speed to deliver cracking integrated campaigns

See also: Creative Showcase is an advertising supplement created by Idealog. For information on upcoming Creative Showcases, call Ben Gibb on 09 966–0997 or email

Some companies can describe their product or service in a few succinct words that make their offering crystal clear to all. It’s easy when you’re selling a straightforward product such as vodka, chocolate, or broadband Internet. But what do you do when the explanation of your client’s business induces confusion or glazed eyes?

That was the challenge facing Ponsonby-based agency Lassoo. Founded by Bridgette Franklin and Anna St George, Lassoo combines media, public relations and creativity in an approach that’s quick, nimble and entrepreneurial.

“We don’t think in straight lines at Lassoo,” says St George. “We explore every avenue in every direction to deliver the best results and help our clients maximise their investment.”

Clarifying the message

Enter Cisco, a world leader in ICT infrastructure and networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Lassoo knew the bewildered response any attempt to describe Cisco’s business would elicit. With the brief to significantly stimulate demand for ‘unified communications’ in the small-to-medium business sector, the focus was to showcase product.

Magazine layout

The Lassoo management team: Anna St George, Bridgette Franklin and Garry Jordan

So Lassoo created an integrated campaign using editorial, case studies, promotions, and advertising in as many environments as possible.

“The campaign ran in October 2008 and June 2009, and included a competitive element. The prize was $50,000 worth of Unified comms equipment, and entrants had to explain how they would improve their business with these new tools.”

The result was a 93 percent improvement in lead generation.

Multiple channels
Magazine layout

The Cisco TV3 Commutations Makeover competition page

Lassoo optimised what had been learnt from the first campaign, to add further elements into the second. Partnering with the MediaWorks stable, they implemented a campaign across radio, online, on-demand and morning television.

ASB Business showcased the second competition for a month and featured an interview with the first winner. A separate television promotion ran throughout the competition period. While a TV3 micro-site gave immediate information, Cisco’s website provided specifics, case studies and product information—all contributing to further leads. Brand ads online and on TV added further layers to the campaign, while additional radio interviews cemented awareness and understanding of Cisco and the competition.

At the end of the competition, Lassoo secured an interview on morning television for Cisco and the second competition winner.

Building on past successes

This successful campaign model will be soon be implemented for a third time.

“It’ll be dissected and improved upon where necessary—although it’s certainly the ability to work across both PR and media, and in close collaboration with Cisco that helped us bring this together,” says St George. “Cisco’s Country Manager, Geoff Lawrie, described the campaign as one of the most effective they’d run all year.”

Magazine layout

Cavalier Bremworth carpet bag

When Cavalier Bremworth embarked on their tactical sales promotion, Lassoo made sure the activity concentrated on triggering the audience to think about the sale.

Focus attention

This involved editorial and experiential PR, which included engaging the retailers, activating leads via television, magazine, online and newspaper placement and postcards, and running competitions to drive inquiries. Lassoo partnered with Federation who developed strategy and creative, providing a seamless team for the client.

A limited-edition fashionable ‘carpet’ bag was commissioned from local designer Saben and sent to media and high-profile personalities. It received rave media reviews and was a talking point at events.

Clear results

The layers of the campaign generated a large database for future use, while the campaign itself delivered sales results surpassing those of previous months, even at the peak of the economic crisis.

Lead generation is one of Lassoo’s key strengths. The company’s philosophy centres around commercial reality for clients, and a regular element of many campaign strategies involves activity that engages consumers to build databases, which Lassoo manages for its clients.

“We have recognised that database management and analysis, email marketing, and micro-site development complete the circle in media­—from PR to creative to database,” says St George.

Marketing directors need to focus on ‘return on investment’ in the database/online space, and Lassoo’s ability to manage this from start to finish, being accountable throughout, is key.

As online moves beyond standard placements to the many different options for purchasing online, this enables testing of cost-per-click deals, mass media and niche sites, as well as breaking down newsletters and traditional formats into links, key words and video, says St George.

Measurement and analysis

Lassoo recently completed another online campaign, where site usage was tracked right through to the point of registration. Critically, this also included those users who may have viewed the banner, but who returned to the site at a later date, and who registered at any point.

This ‘post-impression’ information is extremely valuable. It means Lassoo can optimise creative, sites, formats and, just as importantly for its clients, provide feedback on parts of the site where users are losing interest. Client investment is based on performance, measurement and analysis—so this medium is truly accountable.

There will also be a market for clients to partner with independent, nimble communication companies who appreciate that every dollar spent needs to deliver results.

“Well thought-out layers of communication will always provide the best result.”

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).