Converse, Pyro in Fast Break

Converse will no longer work exclusively with Arnold Communications.
The company plans to dole out advertising on a project basis, and is employing Pyro Brand Development, a unit of The Richards Group, Dallas, for an effort to infuse new life into its Chuck Taylor brand, said Converse representative Hal Worsham.
The North Reading, Mass., client, which has reduced both its marketing budget and the scope of its advertising in recent years, has “nothing coming up” with Arnold, Boston, but is “evaluating” several potential projects with Pyro, Worsham said.
Neither Worsham nor Arnold chief marketing officer Fran Kelly, however, would rule out teaming up on future efforts.
Converse spent $3 million on ads in 1999. A decade ago, spending was more than $20 million for spots featuring Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson. In 1993, the defection of Converse from Ingalls, Boston, to upstart Houston Herstek Favat helped reshape the agency landscape. Arnold inherited Converse three years ago when it bought Houston Herstek.
Targeting teens and early-20s trendsetters, Pyro will plaster New York and Los Angeles with versions of a print ad that contains only white space, a sneaker in one corner and the tagline “Just rubber and a blank canvas.” The idea is to encourage spontaneous street art and “open canvas” nights at area nightclubs and free canvas–not just poster–giveaways at point-of-sale locations. K