We’ve been posting for a bit on the battle for iconic outdoor brand L.L. Bean, and today the client confirmed that VIA will be its new creative AOR.
VIA and Bean are both based in Maine, though the brand had been working with Erwin Penland New York since late 2014. We first heard of the split early this year, and it followed the summer departure of CMO, SVP and 24-year company veteran Steve Fuller. He was effectively replaced by chief brand officer and British marketing vet Chris McDonough.
VIA CEO Leeann Leahy described the review—which multiple sources confirmed as a showdown with Droga5 and an unnamed third agency—as an “intense competition.” McDonough added, “We need a partner who not only possesses creative and strategic talent, but one who intimately understands what the L.L.Bean brand stands for. VIA meets that high standard.”
The two parties began working together on a limited basis last year, and now Portland’s biggest agency will partner with its best-known brand.
According to Kantar Media, L.L. Bean spent around $16.3 million on paid media in the first nine months of 2016. That’s a decline from a $30 million spend in 2015, but the company certainly seems to be aiming to expand its footprint next year. VIA’s first campaigns will launch by the end of the summer.[Image via L.L. Bean]