FT.com launches first US ad campaign

FT.com has launched its first US advertising campaign as it attempts to broaden significantly the reach and awareness of its site on the other side of the Atlantic.

The campaign features the first work created by BBDO New York for FT.com since it was hired last November. The campaign comprises television, newspaper, magazine and online activity and is backed by a $35 million media budget.

Michael Foster, managing director of FT.com, said: "We have identified an opportunity to significantly increase usage by massively broadening reach and awareness of our site in the US. While the web has made the business world global, being on the web has done very little to increase US business people's worldliness, or to change the way they think about business."

The launch of the US ad campaign follows the February overhaul of the FT.com website. The overhaul is also being backed by a UK television, press and poster campaign featuring the "FT.competitive edge" line.

The US campaign is based around the tag line, "The world doesn't turn on a dime," which is designed to help communicate FT.com's global perspective.

Television advertising will feature Dan Aykroyd in a series of four humorous commercials designed to help dramatize the importance of a global perspective in today's business environment.

In the first spot, entitled "Lira," Aykroyd stars as Mr. Kopecky, the head of a leading US foam rubber company. In the ad, Aykroyd is seen negotiating with three Italian businessmen over the sale of his company. Thinking he has pulled a fast one on the Italians, Aykroyd agrees to sell his company for what he believes to be the astronomical price of 11 million lira (only to have it revealed later that this translates to less than $6,000).

Subsequent executions show Aykroyd in similar predicaments where his lack of a global point of view has let him down.