Converse Hires Shop

Modernista! last week was selected to relaunch the Converse brand with a national campaign early next year.

The shop was tapped following a review of undisclosed agencies. Modernista! was chosen for the “edge and youthful spirit” displayed in its recent campaigns for clients such as MTV and the Gap, said Cheryl McCants, director of marketing and communications for the North Reading, Mass., client.

The Boston shop’s work for MTV likens it to a sexually transmitted disease with lines such as, “Can I get MTV from kissing?” Ads for the Gap show celebrities discussing their influences and inspirations. In one, singer Cherokee does a version of AC/DC’s “Back in Black.” At the end, she says, “My inspiration: Angus Young.”

Ad spending was not disclosed; sources said the initial budget will likely be about $5-10 million.

“We want to help make Converse relevant to a new generation,” consumers ages 12-22, said Modernista! co-founder Lance Jensen.

This spring, Converse was purchased under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by Foot wear Acquisition. The new ownership in June installed Jack Boys as CEO. In the late 1990s, he headed worldwide marketing for The North Face.

Creative strategies for the upcoming campaign and specific media plans are still being worked out, Jensen said.

Pyro Brand Development, a unit of The Richards Group in Dallas, was the last shop to work for the athletic-footwear brand. Client spending a decade ago was about $30 million, when Boston shops Ingalls and, later, Houston Herstek Favat, handled the account.