CP+B partnered with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), producers of the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, to rebrand the event for its 75th year in 2016. The event, taking place February 11-15, 2016, is relocating to a new venue on Virginia Key at the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin. The agency will create new branding and design content consisting of TV, radio, digital, print and out-of-home advertising. "CP+B's reputation as a powerhouse global creative team with an understanding of the Miami market will help NMMA re-position the Miami International Boat Show in its new location and raise the bar on marketing efforts," said Thom Dammrich, President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
Horizon Media has been appointed Media AOR for Chocolatier Lindt USA effective immediately. The agency’s New York office will handle the account which includes channel planning and activation across all platforms in the U.S. The decision follows a formal review managed by Cello Partners of San Francisco. “We found Horizon Media to be an incredibly passionate and collaborative partner with a like-minded company culture and shared values,” said Thomas Linemayr, president and CEO of Lindt USA. “We look forward to working with Horizon to further elevate the brand and drive sales across our entire portfolio of our premium products to make Lindt the preferred choice for chocolate lovers.” Word of the decision surfaced last week although the client and agency were in no-comment mode until Thursday of this week. Lindt spent about $45 million on ads in the U.S. in 2014 according to Kantar.
British Airways has selected SapientNitro, recently acquired by Publicis Groupe, for global digital AOR duties after a review. The assignment, previously handled by WPP’s OgilvyOne, is effective in July. Other agencies in the competitive pitch included DigitasLBi, BBH and We Are Social. The client said that SN will support its in-house ad-marketing team with work on the airline’s main website BA.com, as well as mobile, creative technology and social media. The shop’s geographic focus will be on key client markets including the UK, US, China, India and mainland Europe. Sara Dunham, British Airways' head of marketing, retail and direct, said: "We are confident that SapientNitro will offer us great ideas, insight, the ability to apply strategy practically, a strong reputation in the industry and a good fit with the British Airways brand. We're really looking forward to working with them."
Carrabba’s Italian Grill has selected Fitzgerald & CO, part of Interpublic’s McCann Worldgroup, as lead strategic and creative agency following a formal review. The brand, one of the restaurant chains operated by Bloomin’ Brands Inc., spent nearly $30 million on ads last year according to Kantar. The incumbent was Boston-based MMB. “We’re looking forward to the [Fitzgerald] team’s strategic and creative expertise to help differentiate the brand in the marketplace, strengthen our relationship with our consumers and drive our business forward,” said Katie Knight who joined Carrabba’s last year as CMO. The selection follows the decision last December by parent company Bloomin’ to shift its media agency assignment to Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest. Fitzgerald is based in Atlanta. Other clients include Coca-Cola, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pergo Flooring, Sony Mobile and Synovus.
Boston-based Full Contact has been selected as the new advertising agency of record for Thomas & Friends, a brand in the Fisher-Price portfolio. With this new partnership, Full Contact will drive creative strategy and production of global broadcast and digital commercials for the overall brand as well as the Fisher-Price toy line. "Full Contact presented an exciting creative vision, and we look forward to creating innovative campaigns with them that will bring to life what children and families around the world love most about Thomas," said Vinnie D’Alleva, Senior Vice President & General Manager Fisher-Price Friends.
The Smashburger Restaurant Chain has added Millennial-focused digital marketing agency Blue Bear Creative to its agency roster, the companies have confirmed. Blue Bear Creative will help Smashburger accelerate engagement with Generation Y through creative social media campaigns tailored to the specific platforms where Millennials focus much of their attention such as Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. “We’re thrilled to have Blue Bear Creative on board and feel confident that this partnership will enable us to accelerate our social media presence with fresh, engaging content,” said Christine Ferris, PR & Marketing Manager at Smashburger. The restaurant chain currently operates in 34 states and seven countries outside the U.S. Both companies are based in Denver.
Founded in 2002, the non-profit Balboa Park Cultural Partnership (BPCP) unites 28 arts, science, and cultural institutions located in Balboa Park, San Diego to collaborate to achieve shared goals and initiatives. The group has appointed MeringCarson to overhaul its brand image. The agency's San Diego office will oversee a comprehensive makeover that will include brand platform research and development, a new logo, tagline, as well as media planning. There was no formal review. The BPCP previously worked with local agencies on a project-by-project basis. The organization's revenue, which includes grants and contributions, was $1.09 million according to its most recent financial report. This appointment coincides with BPCP's responsibilities to oversee this year's 100th anniversary of the Panama-California Exposition. After an earlier committee put together by city officials fell apart, the BPCP stepped in to manage this year-long event that kicked off February 20. With offices in Northern and Southern California, MeringCarson serves a roster of clients that include Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Visit California, Pebble Beach Resorts, Sacramento Kings, San Diego Tourism Authority, and CA Speedway.
Financial services giant Visa is conducting a global media agency review, the company has confirmed. The company spends an estimated $200 million annually on ads, more than half of it in the U.S. The incumbent is OMD, which won the last Visa global media review back in 2008. The Omnicom shop is expected to defend, but declined to comment, referring queries to Visa. The review comes amid changes in the marketing ranks at the client. Chief Brand Officer Antonio Lucio is leaving for a CMO position at HP Inc. And CMO for core products Kevin Burke left in December and has not been replaced. Sources said that Visa has not yet hired a search consultant. Visa issued a statement confirming the review: “Visa partners with some of the greatest agencies in the world to achieve our brand and marketing goals. As is the practice throughout our industry, we undertake regular agency reviews, and periodically decide to open parts of our portfolio to other firms to present their capabilities. We have decided to conduct an RFP for a global media agency partner and welcome the participation of our current agency and others in this process. We are planning for many exciting campaigns at Visa and look forward to developing and launching those efforts with an outstanding roster of agency partners.”
Ad shop Mechanica, has been named branding agency of record (AOR) by seafood brand Sea Cuisine. Mechanica will be responsible for the development of a new campaign for Sea Cuisine -- a High Liner Foods brand -- including online and print advertising, digital marketing, and in-store events, among other communications elements. Mechanica has worked with other High Liner brands as well. A key element of the new campaign will be to inspire consumers to purchase and prepare seafood at home more often. Jeff Tahnk, Vice President, Retail Marketing at High Liner Foods, said, “Mechanica has demonstrated an unprecedented ability to bring strategic thinking to help categories realize their full potential. That’s why we are partnering with them on a new campaign for Sea Cuisine.”
Following a 12-agency review, fast-casual burger chain Smashburger has selected Minneapolis-based creative agency mono as its new Agency of Record. The incumbent agency Vladimir Jones did not participate in the review. Smashburger says the MDC-owned agency was chosen for "their all-in approach that combined strategic insights with their ability to translate those insights into outstanding creative." “We are always pushing ourselves and our agencies to deliver world-class creative with appeal that engages our customers and drives business growth,” says Josh Kern, Chief Marketing Officer at Smashburger. “The team at mono clearly demonstrated a passion for the Smashburger brand as well as the ability to help us tell the story of the brand as the new way to eat a burger.” Over the next few months, mono will roll out a national creative campaign that will, "fuel Smashburger brand love and cravings across the U.S.," the companies said. Creative work will follow from the national campaign which will include print, radio, out-of-home and experiential initiatives. In all, the concept will particularly focus on "how the burgers are smashed to lock in the flavors and their use of premium, fresh ingredients." Smashburger, which operates more than 310 corporate and franchise restaurants in 34 states and seven international countries, says this agency switch is designed to complement its "strong business growth" planned for 2015. The privately-held company is also spending more to raise its profile. Last year, the chain spent $3.8 million on advertising, double its $1.8 million budget in 2013, according to Kantar Media.
Wells Fargo is consolidating its media assignments with Omnicom Group agencies after a review that kicked off late last year. The official announcement is expected in a few weeks, with the new assignments effective June 1. OMD will continue to serve as the lead agency for traditional media planning and buying, and now adds search and digital planning responsibilities, previously handled by Interpublic Group’s UM. Multicultural planning and buying was also consolidated with OMD in a unique partnership with Buzz Marketing, the Haddonfield, NJ-based specialist that focuses on multicultural and millennial consumers, as well as moms. Before this, the multicultural business was handled by a number of shops including Muse, DAE, and Acento. Another Omnicom shop, Organic, has been selected for digital creative duties, previously handled by Interpublic's MRM. Wells Fargo spent $177 million on advertising in 2014, according to Kantar Media.Omnicom didn’t return a query seeking comment on the changes, and Buzz Marketing declined to comment. A client rep stated that "Wells Fargo began a media consolidation initiative in late 2014 to increase the integration and effectiveness of our channel plans. We are nearing the end of the review but do not have any details to disclose at this time." The client’s media review follows its decision last year awarding creative AOR duties to BBDO, also part of Omnicom.
VTech has appointed Siltanen & Partners as its new creative agency after a review. The company, a maker of developmental stage-based electronic products for children, also retained Horizon Media for media duties. VTech spent $15.88 million on advertising in 2014, down from $16.32 million in 2013, according to Kantar Media. The review was led externally by Stephen Boehler of the Mercer Island Group.
SelectNY has been named lead agency for Stage Stores Inc. In this role, SelectNY is leading all aspects of the rebranding of Stage stores. In addition to the Stage namesake brand, Stage operates stores under the Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal and Peebles nameplates. The win came after a formal review that included five other undisclosed agencies. The agency's work will influence and guide everything from social media to traditional media and even employee name badges and branded shopping bags. “Our stores are a place where store managers and sales associates are deeply involved in the community and take pride in welcoming every customer into the store,” said Bill Gentner, Chief Marketing Officer, Stage Stores, Inc. “We have savvy customers that want style at a value and that’s what we aim to deliver.” Stage operates in 796 towns in 40 states with over 14,500 employees. The company reported sales of $1.6 billion in 2014. Stage offers brand name apparel, accessories, cosmetics and footwear for the entire family through over 850 stores and the stagestores.com eCommerce website. SelectNY North America President Jonathan Braaten said the client strategy is to “embrace and identify with consumers based on where they live and what they value. Stage wants to give them what they want in the comfort and convenience of their hometowns.” Stage continues to work with Moroch, a Texas based agency that handles media buying and creative.
Norwegian Cruise Line has begun a review of both its creative advertising and media planning and buying assignments, the company confirmed Wednesday. The Martin Agency, which has handled both creative and media duties since 2011 has opted not to participate in the review. The client spent about $33 million on ads last year according to Kantar. Norwegian issued a statement: “Norwegian Cruise Line is moving into review for both creative and media agency business. We have enjoyed four successful years of working with The Martin Agency to grow the Norwegian brand and consumer awareness. While The Martin Agency has chosen not to participate in the review process, Norwegian thanks the company for their many contributions and looks ahead to beginning the search for a new agency partner.”
MGM Grand Detroit, part of MGM Resorts International, has appointed McCann Detroit its integrated agency of record. The agency selection follows a competitive review and is effective immediately. “Much like MGM Grand Detroit, McCann Detroit is in the center of the action and excitement in the city. When you combine that with the agency’s strategic vision and innovative creative insight, you have a winning partnership,” said Steve Zanella, President and Chief Operating Officer MGM Grand Detroit. “We are already a premier destination resort hotel and casino. With McCann Detroit’s help, we’ll now take that to the next level and raise our profile as a must-do entertainment destination for locals and those who have not visited us before.”
Full-service marketing agency BFG Communications has been tapped by the American Marketing Association (AMA) to assist with the development of a new brand positioning. The agency was selected without a review by the AMA’s new CEO, Russ Klein. The assignment is effective immediately. The AMA is expected to launch the resulting work as early as this summer. Klein refers to the rebranding as the “Next AMA,” further describing it as “a personalized community focused on the inherent tension between so-called best and next practices necessary for outperformance in marketing.” BFG’s Chief Strategy Officer Richard Leslie will lead the agency team in fielding ethnographic research designed to aid in refining and updating the value proposition for the AMA. With more than 30,000 members the AMA brings marketing professionals and academics together to share techniques and ideas; and it has 76 professional and 350 collegiate chapters across the country. “BFG has a proprietary and powerful take on consumer insight combined with an impressive background in branding and research, and we anticipate that being put to effective use for an iconic brand such as the AMA to communicate its service to member and value offering in a contemporary light,” said Klein.
Jabra, a line of wireless sports earbuds, named LeadDog Marketing Group as its Jabra North American marketing agency of record. LeadDog will handle Jabra's domestic sports marketing duties, leading negotiations and establishing partnerships, in addition to developing strategies and activation plans around sports and lifestyle platforms. LeadDog's primary work will be establishing on-site and digital strategy to support Jabra's global position as the official performance partner of The World Triathlon Series. "We're really excited to partner with Jabra and help them continue to thrive in the hot sports audio and wearable technology categories," said Dan Mannix, President and CEO of LeadDog Marketing Group. "They have an incredibly impressive product portfolio, and with our strong background in experiential, fitness and sports marketing, our goal is to help Jabra to become the leading sports audio brand in the North American market."
Toy manufacturer, Spin Master Ltd. named The Variable as its marketing agency of record for its Remote Controlled, Robotics and Activities categories, supporting brands such as AirHogs, Zoomer, Bunchems and other activity brands. The Variable will lead strategy, creative and integrated planning across all channels, with MediaCom New York handling media planning and buying, and Zeno Group handling public relations. Creative will debut this summer. "We are bursting-at-the-seams excited to help Spin Master drive growth in the U.S. and globally with strategic and creative platforms that veer far away from conventional and played-out toy advertising," said David Mullen, director, account management, The Variable. Spin Master is the latest in a stream of five new business wins for The Variable over the past eight months. The Variable was appointed agency of record for Soffe, Duke University Health System, Interface and Primo. Spin Master Ltd. spent $22.7 million on measured media in 2013 and $36.8 million in 2014, according to Kantar Media.
TOURISM Santa Fe tapped Fuseideas to handle advertising and marketing duties. The account, previously handled by TKO Advertising in Austin, Texas, was awarded following a 10-agency review. The multi-year contract is valued at $900,000 annually. The agency will lead the creation of print, broadcast, digital and social media marketing. New work is slated to launch this summer.
Out There was named media agency of record for Farfetch and Roberto Cavalli. Farfetch is a website that allows customers to access designer fashion from more than 300 independent designer boutiques. The agency was tasked with increasing awareness of Farfetch amongst fashion forward shoppers in the US and UK. Roberto Cavalli awarded worldwide media planning and buying duties to Out There. Work was previously handled in-house. Out There's Milan office will oversee all media activity for every division under the Cavalli name, including Roberto Cavalli, Just Cavalli, Class, Kids, Home, Eyewear and beachwear. The majority of Roberto Cavalli's media budget will go to print magazines like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Elle. Digital initiatives are slated to launch in the fall as the brand focuses on expanding its online presence. "We are thrilled to work with these two exceptional brands, one iconic and one meteorically rising. Both are entering a new phase of growth, and Out There will help them to engage in new methods of outreach to attract luxury consumers across the globe" said Samantha Fennell, Managing Director of Out There's U.S. office. Roberto Cavalli spent $2 million on measured media in 2013 and $2.6 million in 2014, according to Kantar Media.
Maverick Brands, maker of Coco Libre organic coconut waters and coconut protein drinks, named Amazon Advertising, part of the Publicis/Leo Burnett network, as its agency of record. Work will include strategic brand development and integrated advertising duties. The agency bested four agencies for the win, ultimately sealing the deal with the pitch presentation in a rock climbing gym followed by a bouldering session with the CEO. "They really understood the story we need to tell about our brand, and they came with creative firepower right out of the gate," said Mark Shaw, CEO of Maverick Brands. "It's a crowded category and Amazon showed they know how to cut through the clutter and create an immediate impact." Creative is scheduled to launch in Q2 of 2015.