With 75 years of heritage in the B2B industrial technology category, TE often competed on product proof points and was losing relevancy with the next generation of engineer customers. TE had blurred the lines of brand and product marketing and needed to reset the way young engineers engaged with its brand.
TE needed to challenge traditional B2B brand practices to drive outsized brand awareness, stimulate authentic engagement, ignite dialogue with new audiences, and elevate its brand to be seen with a fresh perspective.
The Science Behind Science Fiction campaign evolved out of an entertainment opportunity with the promotion of James Cameron’s 2019 film Alita: Battle Angel. The premise of the film revolved around futuristic earth with the introduction line, “the force behind this world is stronger than magic: it’s engineering.”
TE’s customers are engineers who spend 80% of their time searching the internet for key parts to build their technologies. They wade through technical marketing materials, compare facts and figures from competing brands, and ultimately become lost in the sea of sameness. By leveraging culturally relevant entertainment in a natural way that conveys TE’s brand purpose, with relevant content that’s actually valued by the brand’s customer base, DWA and TE could reach the next generation of engineers.
The strategy would continually feed the growing audience fresh content over time, with global events, social media discussions, tech-talks, and e-mail content that rewards engagement. A long-term nurturing approach ensured retainment of new followers, an increase in brand trust, and value to TE’s engineering customers for long-term brand loyalty.
- Implementation: The campaign was timed in coordination with 20th Century Fox’s global announcement schedule. Alita video content anchored the campaign, with exclusive behind the scenes, celebrity interviews, and VIP experiences, all weaving in the Science Behind Science Fiction. The message was supported through omnichannel media of social media, programmatic, endemic, social video, CRM email, out of home, and public relations media events. Additionally, an internal employee activation reenergized employees around the brand and company’s purpose.
- Timeline: Divided the campaign into pre-theater launch and post-theater launch, over a three-month campaign from December 2018 through February 2019. North America in-theater date was February 14th, followed by Japan and China late February.
- Placement: This was a global campaign focused in North America, China, and Japan. Each included omnichannel media investments and internal employee activations.
- Reach: Compared to all previous campaigns, brand search increased 73%, total site arrivals increased 62%, and China & Japan both exceeded industry reach metrics.
- Engagement: Clear spike in social media with 15.5M impressions across global platforms, 243K clicks through to TE.com, 3.5% increase social media followers, and added 4,020 new contacts through sweepstakes giveaways. More importantly, the boost in comments, UGC, shares, followers, and meaningful discussions around the future of engineering was impactful.
- This campaign won a 2019 ANA B2 award for best "Integrated Marketing Communications Brand Strategy, Global or National."