Our product is steel.
Our strength is people.
In 1969 a slogan that would eventually
define Dofasco Inc. was born.
Company management had embarked
on an effort to begin to proactively
advertise the company to a host
of stakeholders from shareholders
to municipal, provincial and federal
governments. At the time there was also
a growing confusion between the east
coast based Dosco and Hamilton’s own
Dofasco that the company wanted to
straighten out.
A team set out to learn what the
customers thought by conducting
attitudinal research through its
advertising agency, Hamilton-based R.T.
Kelly Advertising. That work, coupled
with the perspective of company
leadership, identified a common theme
of appreciation for the service that
Dofasco employees provided. Employees
were the company’s key differentiator.
All that was needed was a creative and
compelling way to bring the findings
to life. With this in mind, several copy
theme possibilities were churned out
on a manual typewriter. Among them
was “Our product is steel. Our strength
is people.”
The campaign included radio commercials
as the anchor. The spots were in
the format of a mini newscast with
a narrator that cut to clips from an
unscripted interview with an employee
exploring his or her interesting work
and achievements.
The concept, tagged with the theme that
was about to become famous, gained
fast acceptance after its launch in 1969.
Results were noticed within weeks with
the format and the personalities of
employees captivating listeners across
the country.
The campaign was a national advertising
program running in provincial capitals,
Ottawa, and in Dofasco customer
locations. Over nearly 20 years, 10
different commercials ran every three
months with three to five commercials
airing per week. In addition, a narrator-
only campaign was run in the province
of Quebec.
Altogether, it meant 40 Dofasco
employees were being heard across
most of Canada each year. Canadians
learned first hand about the thousands
of people at Dofasco doing interesting
and innovative things, underscoring the
truth of the new credo “Our strength
is people.” It was a tag that became
synonymous with a team that stands
out from the rest.
Later, in the 1990s, “Our home is
Hamilton” was added to when spots
ran locally.
While the radio campaign remained
the anchor, the tag line also ran in print
advertising, brochures and in employee
materials, becoming one of corporate
Canada’s most familiar credos and
bringing Dofasco’s real value to life.
Never just a slogan, the over arching
belief “Our product is steel. Our strength
is people.” will forever remain true.