MindShare Picks Up Toto USA’s Media

ATLANTA Toto USA has assigned its media account to MindShare Atlanta following a review, the client confirmed.

The Morrow, Ga.-based plumbing manufacturer considered Atlanta’s Initiative Media and Kohler & Miller.

“Once I met with [MindShare], I felt I was in pretty good hands,” said Newbold Warden, Toto’s director of marketing.

Previously, Henderson Advertising in Greenville, S.C., which held the account for five years, handled media and creative chores.

The selection of a creative agency for the estimated $1 million account is still under consideration. Warden said he was looking at architectural specialists Liska + Associates in Chicago and KingMahon Design Partnership in Atlanta. A decision date is undecided. Currently, the client handles creative in-house.

Warden explained that he had placed the account in review in January, but deliberated over choosing a traditional agency to handle both media and creative before deciding to split the work.

“I went toward independent media planning and small creative shops where work could be coordinated through the in-house [creative] department and decided on that,” Warden said. “MindShare showed a depth of consumer research that went further than the others. They have an overwhelming ability to work with us.”

Japanese-owned Toto targets consumers and the homebuilding and design industries simultaneously. Print ads run in shelter magazines. Warden said the company would initiate infomercials and direct mail campaigns this year.

“As a small competitor to Kohler, we have to make up with intelligent creative that speaks to the target,” said Warden. “We perceive ourselves as the experts in form and function with a huge focus on technology. Kohler focuses on design; that’s their category.”