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DHL turns sponsorship into 'active ads'

News, 10 November 2015

ORLANDO, FL: DHL, the logistics and delivery company, has seen success by turning its sponsorship programs into "active advertising" which showcases its business capabilities.

Lori Folts, head/marketing communication (Americas) at DHL Express Americas, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2015 Masters of Marketing Conference.

"We took an approach which I want to call 'active advertising,'" she said. (For more, including a Copa América case study, read Warc's exclusive report: How DHL turned sponsorship into "active advertising".)

"So, we're not just going to buy TV spots anymore. We're going to invest in sponsorship platforms where we can showcase our logistics expertise."

More specifically, the organisation expects its sponsorship efforts to go well beyond a static logo on a TV screen or a stationary billboard at a sports stadium.

Through a tie-up with the Red Bull Air Race, for instance, it gains some traditional benefits of sponsorship, while also helping transport – among other things – planes, fuel and broadcast equipment.

Such an arrangement allows for the brand to show off its expertise both by delivering these heavy-duty items around the world on time and telling engaging stories about these efforts.

It has tapped similar affiliations with partners like the Cirque du Soleil performance troupe, the series of Fashion Week events across the globe, the Formula 1 racing series and soccer team Bayern Munich.

"You can really take something and make it much more than just putting advertising on TV, on a soccer stadium, or on the flags on Cirque du Soleil, or the flags at Formula 1, or branding a yellow car at Formula 1, or whatever," Folts said.

And by leveraging sponsorship platforms with an international scope, DHL can ensure its "active advertising" makes an impression in many of the approximately 200 markets it serves.

"We decided to buy into platforms that have a global footprint," said Folts.

Data sourced from Warc