Owens Corning Targets Younger Homeowners

Owens Corning will kick off a series of direct mail campaigns this summer in conjunction with 20 of its franchisees. The campaigns, sent to 400,000 people each month through early fall, will promote the newest version of Owens Corning's Basement Finishing System, a wall system with acoustical and insulating properties.

This marks the first major marketing push for the system and is the first time the building materials provider has coordinated a campaign with its franchisees, which include contractors, rebuilders and remodelers.

Using the theme “Owens Corning: We Know Homes,” the company is looking not only to generate business but also to build brand awareness in homeowners younger than 30. Its Pink Panther icon will be present in most of the advertising materials, and the goal is to re-establish itself as a knowledge- and technology-based company that can provide not only products, but solutions as well.

“Our brand awareness is high in the over-30 group,” said Lynne Hartzell, director of marketing communications at Owens Corning, Toledo, OH. “Since our target audience for the next 25 years is going to be the 30-and-under group, we have to let them know that we are more than just 'that insulation company.' We want them to look at us as being the resource relative to anything they need to do to their homes.”

Owens Corning is working with WB Dover, Detroit, to develop the collateral for the campaign. The mail pieces, which are still in the developmental stages, are scheduled to drop in July. Hartzell said the exact dates are dependent upon the franchisee, and each franchisee is required to contact a minimum of 20,000 people each month through mail pieces and door hangers.

It is up to the franchisee to decide whether it wants to target the people within its territory or to conduct a blanket-type mailing. The franchisees will have input regarding where their logos will be placed on the mail pieces and other collateral.

The campaign's message will convey that while it is known primarily for insulation, Owens Corning can transform a home with its new technologies for home theaters, roofing and siding.

The direct mail campaign will be supplemented with a print campaign scheduled to begin in July and run through the end of the year.

The impact that women have on the decision-making process is stronger than ever, Hartzell said, and the company has taken that into consideration with the print effort. Print ads will run in consumer magazines, and to reach the female demographic better, it will run adds in home-oriented publications, including Martha Stewart Living and Oprah Winfrey's O, The Oprah Magazine.

The print ads will contain the same theme as the direct mail pieces. Hartzell said seven different ones would be used. TV spots also will be aired on national networks and cable channels.

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