An innovative campaign to build brand awareness and lead the mainframe conversation


Broadcom focuses on technologies that connect our world.

As a global infrastructure technology leader for the past 50 years, Broadcom has the size, scope and engineering talent to lead industries into the future.

More specifically, the Broadcom Mainframe Software division holds a megaphone to mainframe capabilities and how that impacts businesses value today and tomorrow.

With other tech leaders mostly focused on cloud, Broadcom noticed an opportunity in the market to lead the mainframe conversation. The mainframe is an essential part of the tech stack, and it’s not going away, so this opportunity became a way to give the mainframe a voice. Centerline partnered with Broadcom to create a content-driven innovative campaign to bolster advocacy among mainframers and build brand awareness.

Building the campaign

Bringing strategy, creative and media to the table at the start proved foundational and essential for success

The campaign had three specific goals:

  1.  Increase Broadcom Mainframe Software brand awareness
  2.  Position Broadcom Mainframe Software as a mainframe thought leader
  3.  Strengthen the advocacy of people who work with mainframes

The media strategy had a two-phase approach to meet these goals while focusing on shifting the mainframe perception. The goal of phase one was to build advocacy and strengthen existing relationships with ‘the cult’— mainframers who could help build momentum and enthusiasm for the system.

Key elements of phase one included:

  • Content audit
  • Development of a cross-channel content strategy
  • YouTube and LinkedIn content audit
  • Keyword research
  • Trending topics analysis

The resulting content strategy acted as a North Star for data-driven asset planning and creation across channels and campaign phases, helping ensure a consistent, strategic approach.

Phase two of the strategy focused on driving awareness and engagement among the C-suite audience and elevating its voice among decision makers. Thought leadership was an essential element of this phase. Yet, checking the box for content and promotion of thought leadership doesn’t always mean it’s valuable. It takes more than that to build a content-focused campaign. Centerline knew that a true understanding of Broadcom’s audiences and preferences, in addition to a distinct look and feel, would ensure more meaningful contributions to the mainframe conversation. With this in mind, Centerline dove into audience research. For example, we conducted a Share of Voice study to establish a baseline understanding of the mainframe conversation happening across social media channels and web publications. The results provided quantitative metrics that helped us more accurately measure the impact of thought leadership content and breadth of brand awareness.

In addition, phase two included social media revitalization, distribution of thought leadership to social platforms, paid media and optimizing relevant web pages.

Strategy meets creative

The power of a comprehensive campaign resides in the strength of its strategy. And in this digital, tech-focused age, Broadcom and Centerline agreed that the core of the strategy should be humanizing the mainframe message. Broadcom sees their people as a competitive advantage—the people behind the software who have the knowledge and expertise that makes them a better software partner for running mainframe workloads. Because of this, there was the desire to put faces with names and to create a sense of community and platform for the people who work with the mainframe.

Uniting the strategy, content and creative was an overall campaign theme: Bigger on the outside. The concept is rooted in the idea that when most people think of the mainframe, they concentrate on what’s inside the box. But it’s what’s outside that counts. And what’s on the outside are the people—those who develop the hardware, write the code for middleware, and develop the applications—working to drive greater business value and meaningful impact on the world around us. From here, Centerline designed a full suite of creative assets using the Bigger on the Outside concept and focusing on elevating humans in a tech focused industry.

In bringing together creative strategy and media at the beginning, Centerline was able to map out an effective plan that placed the right content on the right channel using the most impactful creative execution. Campaigns with a clear goal and content with a specific place and purpose make connections with target audiences and drive results.

Activating the campaign

Strategy and creative power paid activation

While companies pay more and more for ads, there’s still no guarantee that anyone will pay attention. To combat this, Centerline knew that well-planned A/B tests would help the team better understand topics, messages and content that resonate most with our audience. The media plan featured highly targeted paid media across LinkedIn, Spotify and relevant third-party channels with the goals of quickly amplifying program reach and enabling precise A/B testing.

Audience Segment 1: Mass-market
Tactic: Time Square Ads

Audience Segment 2: Mainframe practitioners

  • Connected TV Ads
  • LinkedIn Ads
  • Spotify Ads
  • Sponsored Content (Computer World)

The Centerline team hypothesized that humanizing tech would be a way to connect with the audience, and conducted A/B testing to test the hypothesis.

The testing across all channels proved to validate Centerline’s approach and uncovered important insights:

  1. Wrapping thought leadership into a narrative, instead of just stating facts, resonated with the mainframe audience.
  2. Personalizing that narrative with a face and a name received more clicks and engagement.

Additional research indicated that the mainframe audience spent a significant amount of time online with podcasts and streaming music. Spotify was selected based on this research and with the desire to meet the target audience where they naturally spend time online.

Connect TV was chosen in support of the brand awareness goal. While it is a “mass market” channel, through streaming services Centerline turned it into a targeted audience. The idea was to prime them by seeing Broadcom Mainframe Software in an unexpected place to keep it top-of-mind, then follow up with more targeted thought leadership.

Overall, the campaign selected channels that resonated most with the mainframe audience. These choices powered content to reach the right person at the right time. The Centerline team structured campaign messaging to build on itself, maximizing the ability of each impression to increase brand awareness, reputation and perception as thought leaders.


Broadcom proves that the right message to the right audience on the right channel yields campaign success

In a time where more and more B2B audiences turn to peers in online communities before engaging with a company’s materials, it was essential to create a deep understanding of the target audience. Leveraging strategies to encourage a rich audience insights in combination with unifying under a common message and creative is what made it possible for Bigger on the Outside to stand out.

Centerline observed three elements that contributed to the campaign’s success:

  1. Understanding the Audience
    Taking the time upfront to dive into mainframers’ media behaviors allowed Broadcom to meet them at the right channels. The content and creative took advantage of how the audience interacted differently with each channel—further strengthening brand engagement.
  2. Targeting the Audience with Targeted Content
    The campaign was designed with a comprehensive approach from the start, so every piece of content had a purpose and place for promotion. The consistency in visual storytelling contributed to cross-channel brand recognition and awareness.
  3. An Authentic Narrative
    Personalized language and visuals proved successful at creating a connection with mainframers. The campaign was unique and didn’t use jargon or stock images that we often see from competitors. As the campaign expanded, Centerline continued personalizing the CTA (i.e., Hear it from Lauren), showcasing employees and the community associated with Broadcom, and leaned into the why behind product solutions.

the big numbers




Cross-Channel Blended CPM*


Clicks To The Website

The detailed numbers


0.02% above benchmark CTR
3.7M impressions
3.5M listens

Connected TV

Compared to other CTV advertisers in the technology & computing industry, we outperformed by 3% in regards to video completion.
2.1M impressions
981K reach


Achieved a 50% cost-per-click decrease from one phase to the next.

958K impressions

(Broadcom employees are excluded from targeting)

Computer World

02:25 minutes above benchmark for average time on page 1.1% above benchmark for CTR to Broadcom pages 4.7M impressions

Times Square Ad

36.6M projected impressions
negotiated a 30% value add

Premium content that hits the mark on quality, differentiation and truly raises the bar on creative storytelling, it gives us a sense of confidence in the result we are going to get.”

Mike Dickson, Head of Brand and Product Marketing for the Broadcom Mainframe Software Division

Thank you for the excellence in all the projects and work that you do. It really nets out to a consistency in how you deliver value, first and foremost, and on all the outcomes we've produced together.”

Joe Doria, CMO Broadcom Mainframe Software Division

An innovative campaign to build brand awareness and lead the mainframe conversation