Martin Atop Olympus

Olympus America has awarded its advertising account to The Martin Agency.

After a three-month review, the Richmond, Va., shop topped Mullen of Wenham, Mass., and New York’s Hampel/Stefan-ides to win the camera manufacturer’s estimated $15 million account.

Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, the New York incumbent, did not participate in the review.

Martin’s challenge is to build the Melville, N.Y.-based distributor’s solid “point-and-shoot” market share while expanding its position in the fast-growing and highly competitive digital arena.

“Along with other brands, Olympus is facing a dramatic replacement of volume in film cameras with digital cameras,” said Martin chief executive officer John Adams. “The name of the game is to make sure Olympus has a strong digital presence while working to maintain film business share through the transition.”

Initially, Martin will undertake strategic planning, media planning and creative development for Olympus’ consumer products group. Its first campaign—camera makers historically rely on print ads—will break this fall.

“Olympus is a known brand, but by no means at the level we want it to be,” said Martin Lee, the client’s executive director of marketing. “We’re giving Martin responsibility for everything from positioning to advertising … every communication that builds brand equity.”

Lee praised the agency’s winning pitch team, whose members included strategic planner Caley Shaffer, group creative director Hal Tench, media planner Sally Harding and group management supervisor Kim McCullough.