True Value Taps Solve As Brand AOR

True-Value-A2Hardware retailer True Value Co. has selected Minneapolis-based Solve to be its brand agency of record and media strategist after a review, the client has confirmed.

According to Kantar, the client spent a little more than $21 million on ads in 2011, the last full year for which data is available.

Other pitch contenders were not identified.

Blake Fohl, vice president, marketing and chief customer officer at True Value, said that Solve demonstrated a “deep understanding of our brand and store owners” and revealed “exciting, actionable insights” about the company’s customers.

Solve was founded in mid-2011 by four veterans of Interpublic Group’s Carmichael Lynch, also based in Minneapolis. Solve CEO John Colasanti had been with Carmichael Lynch for 15 years and was CEO at that agency until his departure in 2009.

Colasanti described True Value as an “iconic American brand … The cumulative energy of thousands of entrepreneurial retailers is formidable and we’re looking forward to harnessing that passion.” He also said that True Value is “looking to contemporize and differentiate its brand and appeal to a broader audience.”  

Solve’s scope of work includes brand and customer strategy, multimedia creative and media strategy and planning. The agency’s first work for True Value will launch in the spring. True Value's existing buying agency, Active International, will continue to handle buying.

Solve’s other clients include Wisconsin dairy farm cooperative Organic Valley, Best Buy, Medifast and AutoWeek. The shop’s new campaign for Medifast, ("Conversations With Yourself"), broke in early January.

Chicago-based True Value bills itself as one of the world’s largest retailer-owned hardware cooperatives with approximately 4,500 retail locations. The company had sales in 2011 of $1.9 billion.

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