Mullen Lands L.L. Bean Account

Winning Pitch Focuses on Modernizing an American Institution
BOSTON–Mullen last week added an American institution to its roster when it was named agency of record by L.L. Bean for its estimated $20-25 million integrated marketing account.
After a two-month review conducted by Boston-based management consulting firm Pile and Co., the Wenham, Mass., shop was chosen over finalists Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis and The Richards Group in Dallas.
While calling the latter shops’ presentations “very good,” Steve Fuller, L.L. Bean’s director of advertising and customer loyalty, cited chemistry as well as Mullen’s “very solid” brand experience for Timberland, Malden Mills and Swiss Army as reasons for his choice.
“They addressed the assignment very well,” Fuller said. “Clearly, there are some very sharp people working there.”
“We’re really thrilled about it,” said Mullen president Joe Grimaldi. “I think we were the people who answered the assignment. I believe we really bore down on that and answered it exactly.”
While stressing that the pitch was a “total team effort,” Grimaldi identified the key players as creative director Edward Boches, account planner Ted Nelson, account supervisor Bob Pagano, associate creative director Andrew Lewis and chief executive officer Jim Mullen.
The Mullen team appeared to simply “want it more,” sources close to the pitch said. The shop’s final presentation may become the basis of its first new campaign for the maker of outdoor gear and apparel.
Mullen’s presentation suggested ways the Freeport, Maine-based client could expand its reach to include a younger, more contemporary audience.
“Nobody understands their customers better than L.L. Bean,” proclaimed Boches. “We tried to show them how they can keep everything that is wonderful and valuable and revered by their existing customers and take it into the next decade.”
The effective presentation encompassed brand-building suggestions for L.L. Bean in advertising, collateral, design, public relations and events, Boches said. Those suggestions included ways to better connect with the consumer.
Mullen’s first assignment has not yet been decided, Fuller said. He added that he would meet with the agency in the next few weeks.