Barbara Basney, Vice President, Global Marketing, Xerox Corporation, Norwalk, Connecticut

Barbara Basney has a sense of humor.  Last year, at the height of Xerox’s award-winning “Ready for Real Business” campaign, she blogged, “What is the Tall, Puffy Michelin Man Doing in a Xerox Ad?” She explained, “Xerox borrowed him to be our star in the latest ‘Ready for Real Business’ ad, giving him the freedom to focus on fighting off The Evil Gas Pump Monsters while Xerox handles Michelin’s accounting and financial processes.”

The multi-million dollar global campaign is one of the company’s most significant and ambitious in its history.  The innovative project explores how Xerox helps iconic brands with business process and document management, freeing them to focus on what matters most-– their real business.

Barbara is responsible for brand and product advertising, including both traditional and digital media, for more than 35 countries. She develops advertising strategies and implements ad campaigns, all while tracking campaign results and media mix optimization in each country.

An advocate for global marketing and brand alignment, she says, “We have one ad agency and one media agency that we use to create traditional and digital ad campaigns for the whole company. All of our advertising is centralized in corporate headquarters, versus under each business group. Because of this we are able to maintain strong brand identity with our advertising.  Xerox's global advertising partner is Young & Rubicam, with the digital units and campaign website experience developed by VML. MEC is the company’s global media agency of record, for all media strategy, planning and buying.”

Xerox’s rebranding efforts began after the 2010 acquisition of  Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), the largest diversified business process outsourcing  firm in the world.  ACS automates work processes and provides IT outsourcing services that range from processing over 1 million credit card applications and 12 million student loans each year to providing HR services for more than 4.4 million employees and retirees annually. The acquisition tripled Xerox’s services business and transformed the company into a $22 billion global enterprise for business process and document management.

With the ACS acquisition, Xerox needed to change its brand identity in the minds of customers. Traditionally, Xerox had been associated with its document management technologies and services, as well as copier machines. Barbara Basney played an integral role in developing and launching Xerox's "Ready for Real Business" campaign, a series of TV and print ads that leveraged the company's newly acquired business customers to show how it was expanding beyond simple document management. The campaign featured well-known corporate customers such as Proctor & Gamble, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Target, Ducati and Michelin.

However, Barbara admitted: "The challenge was getting our corporate customers, and their associated brand likeness such as the Target dog or Mr. Clean, to agree to be featured in the campaign. We had to show that Xerox was helping them out with business process outsourcing without making it seem like they aren't able to handle the tasks themselves."

And the Michelin Man?  Xerox serves Michelin’s global operations in Barcelona, Manila, Sao Palo, Tempe, Juarez, Tianjin China, and its’ Bangkok Centers of Excellence.  As a result, Michelin’s financial group has standardized processes, reduced costs, and enhanced quality, meeting the company’s global requirements.  As Barbara Basney adds with a smile, “With Xerox behind him, the Michelin Man can give full attention to his priorities….. fighting The Evil Gas Pump Monsters; oh, and making the most innovative, best performing tires in the industry!”