How ADT Won the 2019 SAMMY Award for Best Overall Integrated Marketing Program

ADT created two distinctly different marketing campaigns as part of its overall integrated marketing program to promote its commercial division and residential business.

The rebirth of a commercial division under the ADT banner now has the nation’s largest residential security provider pursuing two thematically discrete marketing paths.

In the past year, the commercial division was unified under the theme, “The Art of Exceeding Expectations,” while residential efforts were more focused on connecting at an emotional level with, “Real Protection.”

“We have seen our commercial and national account business grow significantly over the last two years — both organically and through strategic acquisitions. Due to this growth of not only customers but expanded capabilities, we determined a clear need to tailor our go-to-market approach to the two distinct markets that we serve,” explains Beth Tarnoff, senior director, commercial & national accounts marketing at ADT.

Promoting the commercial division theme is executed in two ways: directly sharing the marketing theme with the ADT audience and supporting that theme with material to back up the company’s claims or, in marketing-speak, proof points.

“For instance, at our major trade shows and with key sales support materials, we straightforwardly share our theme of ‘The Art of Exceeding Expectations’ using an eye-catching paint splash design to draw attention to ADT and share the value of partnering with us,” Tarnoff says.

Supporting materials are then distributed such as white papers and case studies — proof points — to build the credibility behind the theme showing how the company exceeds expectations.

Examples of the commercial divisions’ marketing collateral include a sales brochure that was created to reacquaint businesses with the breadth and depth of services ADT now offers, having acquired top integrators, cybersecurity providers and a risk consulting group.

Display ads, which have appeared in Sports Illustrated, also share with customers all the capabilities the company has built during the past few years and provide additional proof points, she continues.

The graphic design displayed across the many elements of the company’s integrated marketing program is anchored by ADT blue, the boldest and strongest color in the company’s layouts. To keep the brand bold, clean and modern, white is the secondary color, Tarnoff says.

“We strive to keep lots of white space in layouts. Photos are used as a primary visual focus and an effort is made to select images that capture real moments and tell a story that our audience will connect to,” she says.

“A subtle gray is used in sidebars, call-outs, charts and other areas that need to visually stand out from the rest.” Tarnoff continues, “Text is not pure black since it’s a bit too bold and harsh. Gray lets the blue and the photography be the main attention grabbers on the page.”

In 2017, ADT introduced a lighter blue iteration of its logo, allowing the company to roll out fresh content to all aspects of its marketing efforts throughout 2018. The familiar octagon shape remains while an internal rectangle housing the company’s namesake was eliminated.

On the residential side in particular, modernizing the venerable brand has served to better align the innovative portfolio of products and solutions ADT represents today, Tarnoff explains.

The “Real Protection” campaign aims to leverage ADT’s 144-year history in security and its evolution in the residential security and home automation space especially.

“Sharing our proof points as part of this campaign on how we provide ‘Real Protection’ such as professional monitoring, elevates ADT above DIY competitors and sets us apart in the marketplace,” she says.

Social media video ads have proven especially effective as part of the overall campaign. For example, the company came across a compelling video posted on a customer’s timeline that illustrated the importance of the latest connected security wares.

The video captured a man approaching the customer’s front door and immediately tries to open the door knob. When that failed, he saw the ADT video doorbell and realized he got caught.

“We reached out to get permission to leverage this video for sharing on social media. We developed simple and effective copy to focus on awareness and the importance of ‘Real Protection,’” Tarnoff says.

ADT utilizes sophisticated processes and procedures to measure virtually everything — from lead flow to cost per lead (CPL) to in-depth web and social analytics.

The company also uses a balance of internal creative teams and external agencies to increase its speed of delivery and optimize cost, while maintaining the highest quality end product, Tarnoff says.

“ADT is an innovator … and our integrated marketing campaign showcases that innovation by recognizing that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work for a brand that serves two distinctly different markets of home and business security,” she says.

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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