Magazine article American Banker

Household Ad Campaign Targets 'Opinion Leaders'

Magazine article American Banker

Household Ad Campaign Targets 'Opinion Leaders'

Article excerpt

Household International Inc.'s $12 million national advertising campaign is not -- that's right, not -- aimed at making its name a household word.

Rather, the consumer finance giant, which specializes in mortgages, credit cards, and auto and other personal finance loans, hopes to reach an audience that will probably never need to borrow to buy a new dishwasher: what a company spokesman called "C-class executives, professional investors, regulators, and legislators."

Craig Streem, vice president corporate relations and communications for the Prospect Heights, Ill., company, said the campaign is meant to "strengthen awareness with opinion leaders."

It kicked off Jan. 6 with 30-second spots to run throughout the year on television shows such as "Meet the Press," "Face the Nation," and "Nightline." Print ads are running in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Fortune.

Mr. Streem said research by Household, which reported loan originations of $11.4 billion for the first half of 2001, found that it was not as well recognized as similar companies.

"We are in the private-label credit card business," he said, "and when one of our salespeople goes to make a sales call, it is very helpful for (the potential customer) to have some idea of who Household is," he said. "If you watch 'Meet the Press,' you see a slew of corporate ads. Companies are out in the marketplace every day trying to enhance the image of the corporate brand."

The commercials depict middle-class people dealing with such expenses as college and the birth of a child. …

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