The vice president of marketing and product development at the Franklin Mint this week oversees the issuance of its first coin series in more than five years. The series features the likenesses of 40 American presidents. It is the first new limited edition collectible to be marketed since the Aston, Pa.-based company, founded in 1964, was sold last fall to a group of private investors.
Those investors include current chairman M. Moshe Malamud and CEO Steven Sisskind. The new owners hope to restore the company to its former market-leading status. The new series of Presidential art medals "embodies the spirit of collectibility," said Gorr, who has worked at the Franklin Mint for the last 20 years.
A limited test of print ads in mass-circulated publications like Parade and FSIs in newspapers rolled out last weekend in an initial bid to sell the Presidential medals. First in the series, George Washington, will be available next week with two new presidential medals issued every other month until the series is complete after Bush leaves office.
Limited now to only print, Gorr said the test of advertising is likely to run through the end of the first quarter. "It's a read-and-react test," Gorr said. "There is a planned media expenditure for 2007 that will be adjusted as results dictate.
"Depending on the strength of the results, we'll roll out more aggressively" after the first quarter, Gorr said.
A TV component featuring the Franklin Mint's recently minted chief numismatist Jay Johnson is also in the works. Johnson was a one-time newscaster, U.S. congressman from Wisconsin, director of the U.S. Mint, and advisor to the U.S. Treasury Department.
The Presidential medals, created in conjunction with the White House Historical Society, are the first of what Gorr said would be many new collectible launches.
The Franklin Mint has more than 12,000 products that in addition to coins include dolls, sculptures, jewelry, and die-cast models that commemorate some of the world's leading celebrities, companies, and institutions.