Davis Newman Handles DM For Italian Yacht Maker Azimut

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Davis Newman Payne Advertising & Marketing Communications, Knoxville, TN, has taken over the direct marketing helm for Azimut North America, the U.S. unit of Europe's largest luxury watercraft manufacturer.

As newly appointed agency of record for Azimut, Davis Newman will handle direct mail campaigns, creative work, public relations, media, boat show collateral and grand openings for the Italian yacht maker. The agency has extensive experience working for marine companies, also handling Boston Whaler Boats and Sea Ray Boats, one of the largest watercraft makers in the United States.

For Azimut, which makes eight models of luxury craft that can stretch up to 100 feet in length, Davis Newman must target a very select group of buyers. Though the agency is accustomed to doing mail work for other boat makers, account manager Shari Folk plans a more precise campaign to reach the affluent yacht market.

"The target audience for a boat that size is very narrow, so you want to definitely make sure that you're talking to the right people. Even though we'll do mass media, it's not going to precisely target the right audience. Azimut's going to be a little bit different," Folk said.

The agency is in the preliminary creative stages of its direct mail plans, but Folk estimated volume for the Azimut campaign at 5,000 to 10,000 mailings, only a fraction of the volume it has managed for other boat manufacturers. Billings for the campaign are under negotiation.

Davis Newman will generate names of prospects in appropriate income ranges by cross-analyzing the lists of other boat companies -- an approach similar to those practiced by the automobile industry -- and the agency's other clients, including Sea Ray, which has a strategic alliance with Azimut to distribute the Italian company's vessels through its dealer network. Davis Newman hopes to introduce direct mail creative work to Azimut by the first of March and begin mailing in early April.

In addition to the direct mail work, Davis Newman will put together Azimut's full marketing and strategic plans. Magazine ads are slated to start in the February editions of Power & Motoryacht, Sea Magazine, Showboats International and Lakeland Boating, a Great Lakes regional publication. Though the creative work on those spots is incomplete, Folk said the firm would like to install some sort of direct response database-building mechanism into its future print work for Azimut. Davis Newman would contract out any necessary teleservices element.

In a separate development, the agency has added Knox Area Rescue Ministries, an East Tennessee nonprofit organization, to its client base. Davis Newman plans direct mail fund-raising work on behalf of Rescue Ministries, a shelter operator and homeless services group for whom Davis Newman formerly did pro bono work.

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