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SAP Shows How Businesses Are ‘Live’ in the Digital Economy

In a new SAP campaign launching today, called “Live Business,” motorcycle shoppers get to customize bikes in a shop before buying them and an athletic gear company tries to keep up with a customer’s quickly changing interests, including aerial karate.

The idea is to show that “businesses have to be ‘live’ in this digital economy,” said Maggie Chan Jones, CMO at database software company SAP. “‘Live Business’ is about businesses having insight to act in the moment, whether making a critical business decision or supporting customer needs.”

The campaign, which also includes print and online ads, was created by lead agency BBDO New York, and other Omnicom agencies including Critical Mass for the landing page, Rapp for direct and PHD for media. The budget was undisclosed.

“Live Business” is an extension of SAP’s “Run Simple” campaign, also created by BBDO, which¬†launched last year.

“Last year, ‘Run Simple’ was very much focused on SAP HANA [database software],” Ms. Jones said. “This year, with ‘Live Business,’ it is really across our end-to-end solutions to help businesses transform in the digital economy. It starts with HANA, and expands into workforce engagement, customer experience, IoT and big data, and supply and collaboration.”

With the “Live Business” campaign, SAP is also broadening its target audience to include not just IT decision-makers, but HR, finance, sales and marketing, procurement and operations departments, she said.

Greg Ketchum, executive VP-executive creative director at BBDO New York, said, “This stuff is really complicated. We wanted to make it very simple for businesspeople in particular to get. It is so seamless that this technology almost becomes like another board member in the room with you as you are working.”

In one TV spot, called “Motorcycle,” business executives of a motorcycle company are in a conference room with data projected on large digital screens, brainstorming about how to grow the business.

They throw out ideas such as pumping up promotions and adding more salespeople, or letting customers customize their bikes before buying them, all while watching projections and outcomes (like riders crashing through the store windows) on the digital screens.

In another spot, called “Karate,” an athletic gear company is gathering real-time data about a customer’s interests and hobbies, which rapidly change from basketball to disc sports to tai chi. One exec asks, “What’s she going to like six months from now?” and the data projects aerial karate. They realize they only have one person working on aerial karate.

“The motorcycle example is a case of assessing a problem in the moment and finding a solution through trial and error,” Mr. Ketchum said.

“By contrast, the athletic gear company doesn’t even know they have a problem yet, and they are reacting to data in real time. These are two very different business problems the technology addresses.”

The TV spots start running Monday on cable networks including Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery Channel and MSNBC. The spots will also appear online, including YouTube, SAP’s website and social media.

The campaign also includes print ads in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Fast Co., Time, Wired and German publication Handelsblatt.

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