Centennial Enlists CVR/MARC

Centennial Wireless, one of the largest independent wireless firms in the country, awarded its $19 million account to Caldwell VanRiper/MARC following a review.

It’s the largest win for the Indianapolis shop since it won regional business for McDonald’s in the early 1980s, said Kirk Stahl, CVR/MARC’s executive vice president. “It’s a big jolt for a small shop like us,” he said.

The account was previously handled by Suedhoff Ferber in Fort Wayne, Ind., where Centennial’s domestic operations are based, said Laura Hughes, Centennial’s vice president of domestic marketing.

Centennial will maintain its current “Your big area, small price wireless company” theme, Hughes said.

Proposal requests were sent out in February. Several shops participated in the review; the business is for Centennial’s domestic markets. Centennial also has markets in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hughes declined to identify the other agencies involved in the review.

CVR/MARC’s pre vious work for Cellular One and the agency’s experience with retail clients attracted Centennial to the agency, Hughes said.

“Their domestic experience in consumer retail coupled with the wireless industry knowledge stood out above the rest,” she said.

Most of the employees who worked on Cellular One remained at CVR/MARC last year after the wireless company was bought by Bell South. Bell South then merged with Cingular Wireless, which consolidated its account at BBDO. Those employees will now work on the Centennial business, Stahl said.

The agency is searching for a seasoned marketing account supervisor to support Centennial in Fort Wayne, where the agency will open an office.

CVR/MARC’s first duties will include marketing and brand research as Centennial expands.

The brand marketing will be followed by a national marketing campaign that includes direct mail, point-of-sale, print and broadcast. “Right now, we are researching what their niche should be and talking with customers,” Stahl said.

CVR/MARC is a subsidiary of MARC USA. The shop’s clients include Dairy Queen, Bank One Home Loan Services, Maytag and the The NCAA and Indiana Pacers Sports and Entertainment.