Werner Ladder

We turned climbing a ladder into “rising above the rest.”


Werner ladders are the favorite brand among professional contractors. But how could GKV extend Werner’s brand messaging into the vast DIY market?

Challenger Brand Solution

Create an Emotional Connection

Werner ladders aren’t only the preferred brand for professional contractors, they have long been used to cut the nets down at the conclusion of the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

So how did we turn a few minutes on the court into a lasting impression for millions of DIY-ers? First, we created a strong connection between the drive for excellence on the jobsite and on the court. Werner ladders symbolized a commitment to doing the job right. Or…Werner is the ladder for those who “Rise Above the Rest.”

Full-Court Press

To maximize Werner’s brand exposure, GKV recommended and executed a fully integrated campaign before, during and beyond the tourney climax. This consisted of a five-week national radio promotion with ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning show, cable TV programming through CBS College Sports, digital advertising on multiple sports properties, online scoreboard sponsorships, plus unique on-site events at NCAA tournament locations including the Final Four weekend.

Slam Dunk

A GKV-built microsite served as the focal point for online and offline efforts and featured interactive games, user contributions, video clips from Mike and Mike, and coaches cutting down nets (including Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski), plus information on Werner’s history with the championship game and links to Werner’s product sites.


The “Rise Above the Rest” campaign generated over 1 billion total impressions. Werner’s corporate website traffic increased by 88.6%. How successfully did we seed the Werner brand into the public conscious? College coaches interviewed on ESPN after being eliminated from the tourney literally said they wished they could have climbed “the Werner” this year!

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