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Allison Gas Turbine.

Allison also is future-looking as it changes its major target market from military buyers to commercial aircraft builders.

When the Wall tumbled in Germany last winter, the big bulge in military pockets was deflated. This created a new set of circumstances for a company that specializes in gas turbine engines, jet or propellor, that power helicopters and short-range passenger planes. An immediate image revamp started early this year with new advertisements created by the Young & Laramore agency in indianapolis.

For years, we portrayed ourselves as an aerospace company with outstanding technology,' recalls Tony Perona, Allison's advertising director. But when it researched its reputation in the aviation marketplace, it found that people didn't perceive Allison as a high-technology company. "That was incorrect," says Perona.'We addressed this problem for a couple of years and are pleased with the change in attitude.

Now, Allison is emphasizing the commercial applications of its engines in the helicopters TV stations buy to do traffic reports, for example, or in the aircraft a regional carrier such as Comair flies from Indianapolis to Cincinnati. The decision to change didn't hit anybody like a lightning bolt, because the company tries to keep its ratio of commercial to military business at about 40 percent to 60 percent, Perona says.

When we sat down with Young & Laramore and reviewed our account with them, we said we were looking at the commercial marketplace," Perona continues. They've maneuvered that image around so the company hasn't lost the technology slant, but is doing it in a more commercial vein. Perona calls it 'a soft change.'

Kerry Foster, account executive at Young & Laramore says, We have changed the logotype in the sign-off. We went away from having a slogan, 'the right answers,' where we portrayed technology as the right answer for different applications. That campaign was slanted more to the military. We've gone back to just signing off with the Allison-GM logo."

Preliminary feedback from Harvey and Starch magazine readership studies indicates that the campaign is on the right track. Respondents believe Allison is a force in the marketplace and its technology is on par with its main competitors, Pratt & Whitney Co., Inc., and General Electric Co.

Allison uses magazines as its media. The advertisements have a clean format,' says Foster. The copy is more corporate than technical, and the visuals are eye-catching. The ads don't try to show technology, per se, but focus on service. Allison is well-known for service because it has a distributor network set up all over the world. Obviously, that is a customer's major concern when buying an engine. 'Our shot for that is the world in space," Foster says.

Another picture is the faraway silhouette of a small-engine helicopter flying into the sunset," continues Kerry. The ad talks about Allison's being 'flight years ahead." The headlines get across the image of Allison as a technological, innovative company, Kerry thinks.
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Title Annotation:Corporate Identity
Author:Johnson, J. Douglas
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Date:Jun 1, 1990
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