Cross Gets Personal

Carmichael Lynch will launch a global campaign this fall that positions A.T. Cross pens as the preferred instrument for personal expression.
“We think that’s an insight that can ignite the writing instrument category, and we think Cross can own it,” said Doug Hagge, a senior partner and director of planning and research at the Minneapolis agency.
CL won the $4-6 million account over Bates, New York, after a two-month review conducted by Boston consultant Pile and Co. The win was expected [Adweek, April 3]. There was no incumbent; the company had doled out projects to several agencies for the past two years.
David Whalen, president and chief executive officer of the Lincoln, R.I., company, said in a statment that CL’s strategic thinking and “passion that they showed for our brand” led to the shop’s selection. CL’s ownership by the Interpublic Group of Companies provided global capabilities.
In a computer-saturated world, Cross will attempt to sell its pens as the more thoughtful alternative for personal communication, Hagge said. The campaign will focus on the impact of handwritten letters vs. e-mail and other typewritten forms.
“The guts of Cross’ appeal is to give people pause to consider what they’re writing,” Hagge said. “We think that’s something we can capitalize on.”
Cross spent an average of $7 million a year on advertising between 1995 and 1998. However, the company spent about $3 million last year. Company officials say spending will get back up closer to earlier levels with the global campaign. K