The copper industry watched the automotive industry transition from copper to aluminum components in the 1980s. This was the direct result of an intense (estimated at $20 million) marketing campaign by the aluminum industry focused on the comparative advantages of aluminum products. While copper lost the passenger car market, the industry took initiative to develop a lead-free brazing process. The International Copper Association (ICA) engaged Kellen to help it stake a claim in the heavy duty commercial vehicle and construction equipment markets.
Kellen branded the process “Cupro-Braze” and set out to market the revolutionary technology that, at the time,was not used outside of laboratories. The groundbreaking ten-year campaign included the placement of dozens of case studies and feature articles, the development of a content-rich website for the “CuproBraze Alliance” and extensive direct marketing campaigns to influential decision makers in target industries.
Kellen produced 66 issues of The CuproBraze Executive Report, mailed to a subscriber list of 4,000 specialized professionals. Case studies and articles were the basis of over 25 feature articles in key industry publications such as Diesel Progress, SAE Automotive International, Machine Design, American Metal Market and many others. The campaign led to the technology being adopted by some of the industry’s leading heat exchanger manufacturers including Denso, Young Touchstone and SHAAZ, and the establishment of high volume production plants across the globe.
The “CuproBraze” program has come to be widely considered one of ICA’s most successful examples of moving a technology from the laboratory to the production line. The website now tracks over 12,000 visitors each month, establishing ICA as the go-to resource for information on “CuproBraze” applications. The technology is now commercially successful and no longer requires ICA funding.