SmarterKids Picks Darwin Digital For $5 Million Web, Branding Pact

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SmarterKids.com Inc., selected Darwin Digital, the digital marketing unit of Saatchi & Saatchi, to steer consumers to its Web site and assist in partial redesign of its online store.


Darwin Digital will carry out a national branding effort for the Internet reseller of children's educational books, software and games, using print, broadcast and online elements. The New York-based agency put the introductory marketing budget for the SmarterKids agreement at $5 million.


Al Noyes, senior vice president of sales and marketing at SmarterKids, Needham, MA, said the company was selected after a review that included four other undisclosed firms. SmarterKids gave Darwin Digital its objectives and expects design mock-ups back from the agency before the end of the year.


The site will relaunch in January. Though Darwin Digital is still hammering out the site's redesign, Noyes expects the agency's online campaign to promote SmarterKids on women's sites, education sites and search engines. Mothers are the predominant buyers of the company's products.


In contrast to many brick-and-mortar stores, SmarterKids' site, www.smarterkids.com, presents products by children's age groups rather than sorting goods by product type.


"You can't walk into a store and see all the third-grade reading products across all media types. So first and fundamentally we've organized a store that's searchable and browsable in educationally relevant ways," Noyes said.
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