Seiko Instruments Entrusts PDA Branding to Makos

Makos Advertising, Marketing & Design has picked up the account of consumer electronics marketer Seiko Instruments.

The Austin, Texas-based client is a year-old subsidiary of the giant Seiko holding company in Japan. The local affiliate concentrates on marketing accessories for personal digital assistants (PDAs) such as Palm and Handspring.

The annual account is estimated at less than $1 million.

Seiko selected Makos following a review of local agencies, which included finalist Staats Falkenberg & Partners, said Seiko director of marketing Stokely Marco.

“I liked their culture,” Marco said. “We’re a relatively small group and we wanted an agency that understood that, as well as being well-rounded as far as looking at the whole picture.”

Seiko Instruments specifically sought a marketing partner that had both branding and packaged-goods experience.

Makos’ initial assignment begins with packaging design and a print campaign breaking in July to support a product launch in August.

Campaign advertising will address the “early-adopter” market, reaching key consumers via highly specialized enthusiast publications as well as a few lifestyle titles. In-store point-of-purchase materials and online ads will bolster the print effort.

“One of Makos’ founding philosophies is that we look for stimulating work that really motivates us, and Seiko Instruments definitely fits,” said agency president Mark Turner.

“It’s always fun being on the cutting edge of consumer electronics. We’ll be producing original, effective and highly visible work for Seiko,” he added.

The company is still uncertain how much it will play up the Seiko name in marketing its new PDA products.

“While there is brand equity is in the Seiko name, this is a different division of Seiko that doesn’t have a lot of identity yet in the PDA accessories category,” Marco said.

Seiko Instruments will present its complete line at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2002. Makos will be involved in the trade show, as well as in the naming and positioning of future products.