Bell Sounds for GS&H Client Gets Familiar Faces, Smaller Setting

When it comes to new business, it doesn’t hurt to have connections, as executives at Grant, Scott & Hurley can attest.
The San Francisco shop has picked up ad duties for Bell Helmets, a recent client of crosstown agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, the former home of GS&H’s three principals. There was no review. Billings for the San Jose, Calif.-based helmet maker are estimated at just over $1 million.
“It’s extremely flattering,” said agency co-creative director Scott Aal. “The work Goodby did for them was amazing. We just hope we don’t embarrass ourselves trying to live up to that standard.”
Agency principals Aal, Grant Richards and Brian Hurley worked at Goodby before starting their own shop in 1997. Hurley, an account director, handled the Bell business there.
“I helped [Goodby principal] Rich Silverstein with the pitch for Bell five years ago,” said Hurley. “He is an avid biker and was particularly passionate about the account.”
Recent growth at Goodby, which has landed such giants as Nike and E*Trade, makes it tougher for the shop to devote a lot of time to smaller clients, Hurley said. “Bell wanted an agency that could spend more time on their business,” he said.
Both Hurley and Goodby executives said the split was mutual and amicable.
The client is planning a national print campaign to launch in bike enthusiast magazines in the fourth quarter. The work will likely retain Bell’s tagline, “Courage for your head,” developed by Goodby, Hurley said. Since Bell has a small budget, Hurley said GS&H is looking into various ways–such as outdoor ads–to effectively and inexpensively strengthen its brand message.
Bell Helmets is a leading manufacturer of bicycle helmets. The company also makes helmets for auto racing and motorcycling.