Having spent four years of college and several years afterwards coupled with years of visiting my parents at their summer home in Maine, I'm quite familiar with the whole Down East thing. It's not really something you discern through research. It's what you glean through osmosis, hanging out in Stonington and talking to Lobstermen, routinely skiing at Sugarloaf and Sunder River, taking a ferry to Swan's Island, camping atop Mt. Bigalow for a weekend, passing through Eustis on your way to Canada just to say you did, drinking in
Portland's Old Port and driving through Rockland,
Camden, Belfast, Searsport and Ellsworth on your way to Milbridge.
It's an acquired sort of thing. Sure, you can read Downeast magazine, thumb through the L.L.Bean catalog and spend a few days driving up and down the coast but it's not the same thing as literally living and breathing the Maine lifestyle -- which, of course I claim only to have done for a time. So it is without surprise that Portland (that would be Maine, not Oregon)-based VIA Agency rested the account away from New York-based Erwin Penland and, according to AgencySpy Droga5 in a recent review.
L.L.Bean has always been about encapsulating and supporting the Maine lifestyle. Yeah, it can be hip(ster) to maybe wear L.L.Bean boots in the city along with a plaid flannel shirt but L.L.Bean has always been about form and function and not style...even though it is a style unto its own and deservedly so. It's very much a brand that earned its perception rather than a brand that hired a fancy agency to manufacture one.
Of the win, VIA CEO Leann Leahy said, "L.L.Bean is an iconic brand, and we're privileged to work with this
great company. Few brands have such a rich history, and the opportunity to build on their incredible foundation is as humbling as it is exciting. We're proud to have a part in defining the next chapter of the L.L.Bean legacy."
In a shocking turn of events, many of the comments over at AgencySpy on this win are supportive of VIA.