Goodby’s Riney Hire Helps Reel In Discover

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ win of the estimated $80 million Discover Card account last week marks the second major financial client the agency has picked up this month–a coup for a shop with no significant category experience.
Creative director Dave O’Hare, who joined the agency March 1 from Publicis & Hal Riney, is being credited with developing the creative concepts that impressed Discover executives. “I feel like the cat who has come home and left a big mouse on the doorstep,” said O’Hare. The agency would not discuss the winning work.
“I told Dave that even if we didn’t win the business, it was worth it just to see the work he produced,” said agency president Colin Probert.
Goodby’s inexperience “doesn’t really matter to us,” said Cathy Davis, vice president of advertising and communications for Riverwoods, Ill.-based Discover. “The most important thing to us is relevant consumer insights.”
The client decided less than 24 hours after the final presentation.
A new campaign may break this fall, sources said, but it could be as late as next January before the effort is unveiled. The client wants to be sure of its research before relaunching the beleaguered brand which has been losing market share and ranks as the fourth-largest credit card issuer.
The current tag, “It pays to Discover,” may be retained, said sources, because the client still believes the line has equity. The tag was created for the Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter & Co. unit by its agency of 11 years, DDB Needham in Chicago. The incumbent exited the review in February.
In the finals, Goodby beat out Leo Burnett in Chicago, Lowe & Partners/ SMS in New York, The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and TBWA/ Chiat/Day in Playa del Rey, Calif.
Earlier this month, Goodby walked off with the estimated $50-60 million E*Trade account [Adweek, March 15] after a shootout with Gotham in New York.