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Pole Advertising to Build a Brand
By: Cindy Wendland
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Not pole dancing — pole advertising. Emerson sells products and services that operate deep inside plants and factories. David Farr, Chairman and CEO of Emerson, explains that in the product business no one knows Emerson. But big business knows Emerson, and he deals with the top CEOs. Perhaps he thinks those CEOs are traveling through Chicago’s O’Hare airport and will see the advertising on the support poles in the American Airlines terminal.

Advertisers will sell any space they think people will buy. The inside door of bathroom stalls went a little too far. What do you think about pole advertising in airports? It was something new we experienced on our recent travels through O’Hare. On other trips, most of the ads we have seen on the high-tech screens in the airport terminals promote businesses the average traveler doesn’t recognize. This was the case when we saw Emerson’s ads on pole after pole as we headed to baggage claim. The graphics and the succinct copy caught our attention, however.

There was a QR code on one of the poles we could scan to go to the stories about the “Never Been Done Before” campaign. But we didn’t want to stop, so we took notice of the web address: emerson.com/proof. It was easy to remember. It turns out Emerson is a huge company with 135,000 employees and 235 manufacturing locations worldwide. They offer manufacturing and technology solutions in highly innovative ways, which they were promoting through airport pole advertising.

The message top-lined their business partner success stories in the areas of Internet, water quality, data center, extreme oil, electricity, shipping, heat, natural gas, and more. The topics were so varied and significant. Emerson made an impact on us with their graphics and their message and made us want to learn more. The people they really care about are the high-level business execs who stroll through that terminal on numerous occasions. It was an unusual way to advertise, but very catchy.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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