ADT looks to reclaim throne as myriad of brands flood security industry

Smart home devices are beyond plentiful. Here's how ADT is transforming its brand with the help of McCann.

Remember Pulse?

No. Neither do we. But ADT’s video doorbell, which launched 10 years ago, is hailed as the security industry’s first major step into smart home products. 

In fact, the company boasts more than 150 smart home devices that integrate with it installed and DIY systems. This, however, has been overshadowed by the influx of cheap, DTC alternatives which have emerged in recent years. 

"People may not typically associate us with the smart home capabilities we provide -- this is about to change," stressed Jochen Koedijk, chief marketing officer at America’s most well-known protection platform.

"We acknowledge that what we want to protect today is different than decades ago, and that’s why ADT’s offerings have grown and changed over time, just like life does."

The 145-year-old company is in the midst of a brand transformation which includes a range of new products, partnerships and a media buying consolidation

It comes at a time of great competition for the legacy firm, which must fight off threats from brands like Ring -- the doorbell security system bought by Amazon for $1 billion in 2018. This peace of mind, which enables users to see who’s at your door from your mobile phone, will set you back only $99.

ADT hopes to overcome competition with its heavy focus on customer privacy. 

"With the influx of many new players in the smart home and security space, there is much more room for issues relating to privacy," explained Koedijk. "Companies who play fast and loose with their customers’ privacy can put everyone at risk -- especially when it comes to video surveillance and how that plays into protection and safety." 

ADT’s systems limit its ability to access our residential customer's video footage.

At the start of this year, ADT launched a Consumer Privacy Initiative looking at three key areas for the industry: adopting a set of sector-wide best practices that are customer-centric and drive transparency; working with partners, dealers, and other industry organizations on the enhanced privacy and ethical standards for our industry and; developing programs focused on privacy, ethics and transparency.

A new and improved line of smart home devices is being unveiled by ADT as part of the transformation. The products and overall brand messaging will be spearheaded by its new creative agency of record, McCann Worldgroup. 

"The launch of the brand transformation is important to us because it is how the relationship with ADT started," said Devika Bulchandani, president, McCann NY. "We pitched the concept of creating this new category and truly personalizing the engagement with their customers, going from transactional to conversational.

"The more we've learned about ADT, the more we realized that they have more ways to protect customers than anyone else but that it is backed by 19,000 employees who are passionate about the work they do every day. We've spent countless hours working with ADT on what we are kicking off this week, but this is just the beginning. As a tech-forward, innovative and customer-obsessed company, I know that we will be able to have a broader impact."

What consumers won’t see is from ADT is "fear, uncertainty and doubt" (FUD) advertising, which it has been guilty of in the past. 

"FUD advertising is no longer relevant and does not convey the multitude of values that we have to offer to our customers," said ADT's CMO. "Our market research shows that customers associate ADT with safety and peace of mind, which are positive emotions and our advertising should reflect and enforce this.

"We also recognize that security doesn’t stop at the front door, and we continue to innovate and bring the best solutions for our customers. By asking our customers ‘what do you want to protect?’, we are able to provide individualized solutions that range from DIY, to professional monitoring and mobile security and do it in a way that relates to the customer’s personal preference."

He added: "At ADT we believe every ‘one’ deserves to feel safe. As the number one smart home security provider we can ensure we connect and engage with customers and employees while we continue to innovate and bring security solutions that speak to their security needs, no matter what these may be. 

"This brand transformation brings to life our efforts to help protect and connect our customers wherever and in whichever stage of their lives they may be." 

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