Comcast, one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential and business customers, is reaching out to the African-American consumer via a new partnership with Burrell Communications, a 40-year-old, Chicago-based service marketing communications company targeting the African-American and Yurban (urban youth ages 12 to 34) markets.
Comcast has selected Burrell Communications as its agency of record for its African-American consumer market advertising. Burrell will provide advertising and media services not only to help Comcast reach African-American consumers, but to also support Comcast’s digital and social media efforts.
“Burrell was one of several African-American agencies invited to pitch the Comcast business through an RFP process that started in October 2010. There were several rounds, with Burrell ultimately being selected as Comcast’s African-American agency of record in mid-February 2011,“ explains Fay Ferguson, co-CEO of Burrell Communications. “As Burrell celebrates its 40th anniversary, we are thrilled to be joining the Comcast team. As Comcast’s African-American AOR, we will be providing advertising and media services and supporting Comcast’s digital and social media efforts. We intend to bring our considerable knowledge, resources, tools and insights to help build Comcast’s business with African-Americans, similar to what we do for our current clients.“ Burrell counts among its clients such firms as McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, General Mills, American Airlines, Illinois Lottery, Walt Disney World Resorts, Eli Lilly and Supervalu.
According to Comcast, this will further advance its efforts in attracting and retaining a multicultural workforce; developing a diverse supplier group; and offering a wide selection of multicultural programming. Comcast will also seek, through Burrell, to increase its community investment.
This is a significant move for Comcast to make, says Ferguson. “It’s always beneficial to African- Americans anytime a major advertiser recognizes the value of the audience and its spending power. It’s especially important to African-American media since Comcast is a big player in the industry,“ she notes. “Comcast’s naming an African-American company, underscores a longstanding commitment to diversity which includes developing a diverse supplier group and offering a wide selection of multicultural programming.“
Selecting Burrell, says Ferguson, will help Comcast reach its diversity goals. “Burrell has a strong track record of creating business-building, award-winning campaigns for blue-chip brands,“ she points out. “We have a long history in this space, deep research capabilities and strong social media/digital practices. Our expertise in digital is a particular benefit since the digital space is a critical area for Comcast to engage consumers.“
It is also a major coup for Burrell. “Winning the Comcast business sends a strong signal regarding Burrell’s strength in digital and social media, areas that are important to all consumers, but especially important in the African-American community,“ she says. “It also recognizes where future growth will come from, and is a strong message to other major advertisers that the African-American audience is vital to business growth.“
Comcast is the majority owner and manager of NBCUniversal, which owns and operates entertainment and news cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, local television station groups, television production operations, a major motion picture company and theme parks.