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Andersen Consulting, a global technology, management, and outsourcing consultancy, was forced to change its name after splitting with its sibling company, the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, in January 2001. The rebranded company, Accenture, Ltd., publicized its new name in a high-profile marketing campaign in 2001 that was widely criticized but that was effective, according to some observers, at raising awareness of the Accenture brand among corporate executives, the ultimate target of all consulting-industry advertising. Accenture and its agency, New York-based Young & Rubicam, followed up this initial effort with "I Am Your Idea," a 2002–03 campaign designed to further heighten the company's brand image among high-level executives.
"I Am Your Idea" was a global campaign employing an estimated budget of $70 million to spread the message that Accenture had the capability to turn ideas into effective business practices. TV, print, and poster executions used the notion of ideas actually addressing their owners—corporate executives—via interior voices and written messages in public areas, among other modes of communication. In each case the ideas sought to make their presence and, accordingly, their value known to their owners. Print ads and TV spots alike employed the message "It's not how many ideas you have. It's how many you make happen," along with the tagline "Innovation Delivered."
The campaign was credited with substantially increasing global awareness of the Accenture brand and with increasing the likelihood that high-level executives would consider the consulting firm for future projects. Accenture's billings during the campaign's run far exceeded the goal of $12 billion set prior to the launch. "I Am Your Idea" won a 2004 Euro EFFIE for its success in Europe.
Accenture's roots went back to the 1950s, when the Chicago-based accounting firm Arthur Andersen developed a consulting division. As this division grew, its leadership became dissatisfied with the subservient position that consulting occupied in the company's hierarchy. A new corporate structure was thus created in 1989, making Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting separate subsidiaries of the same parent company, but a clause in the companies' contract with one another mandated that the more lucrative of the two share its annual profits with the other. This clause resulted in increasing friction between the two entities in the context of a booming consulting industry and a flat market for accountants, and Andersen Consulting's sense of the agreement's unfairness was exacerbated when Arthur Andersen
launched a competing consulting division. Andersen Consulting initiated a split with Arthur Andersen in 1997, but the split was delayed by years of legal wrangling. Andersen Consulting finally won the right to sever its ties with the accounting firm in 2000, on the conditions that it pay Arthur Andersen $1 billion and rebrand itself under a new name. Andersen Consulting was renamed Accenture in late 2000, and the company was officially relaunched on January 1, 2001.
The Accenture name was widely derided by analysts and media critics, even as the company and its agency, New York's Young & Rubicam, were setting out to imbue that name with an identity via an estimated $175 million global advertising campaign. Tagged "Now It Gets Interesting," the campaign appeared in print before making its TV debut via four spots that aired during the 2001 Super Bowl. These spots were...