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L.L. Bean names GSD&M agency of record

After a review, L.L. Bean has named GSD&M Idea City as its advertising agency of record. The account includes creative duties for the company’s online, print, TV and radio advertising efforts.

L.L. Bean “is a brand with a incredibly steady hand and core values that it stays true to,” said J.B. Ruftus, SVP and CMO at GSD&M. He added that this is reflected in the brand’s loyal customers. As a result, GSD&M will be trying to “stretch the brand without reinventing it,” he continued.

GSD&M’s pitch included ideas for how to expand L.L. Bean’s audience to the next set of loyalists, including consumers who are slightly younger than the typical L.L. Bean customer and consumers who hail from a broader geography than the average customer. In addition, GSD&M has visions of educating consumers that L.L. Bean is not just a winter brand. The fourth quarter “is when a lot of the company’s business is clustered,” Ruftus said. However, L.L. Bean offers a wide selection of year-round products.

“The agency’s work will seek to engage consumers in the brand all year long,” he said.

All of this will be accomplished without losing sight of L.L. Bean’s core competency, which is enabling people to fully enjoy the spiritual and physical benefits of the outdoors. In addition, “the iconic L.L. Bean catalog” will be featured prominently in all messaging, Ruftus said.

Initial work on the account is expected to break in the fall of 2008. Media planning and buying remains the domain of Mediaedge:cia.

According to reports, the other finalists in the review were independents Modernista! and Cramer-Krasselt, Omnicom’s Cutwater and Havas’ McKinney. GSD&M is part of the Omnicom group of agencies and is based in Austin, TX. Its other clients have included Southwest Airlines, BMW, Kohler, the PGA Tour, the US Air Force and John Deere. L.L. Bean was “impressed with GSD&M Idea City’s understanding of L.L. Bean’s brand and customers, as well as its insight into the opportunities of the company’s evolving multichannel marketing strategies,” said Steve Fuller, SVP of marketing at L.L. Bean, in a statement.

L.L. Bean plans to open three new stores this year and to operate 32 stores by 2012.

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