TLP’s Job: Make a Mailer’s Name

Promotional marketing firm TLP here was hired to launch the first concerted consumer branding effort for Advo, which distributes retail coupons and offers to more than 60 million households weekly.
Advo’s mailings–sent under the Mailbox Values banner–include deals for national, regional and local companies including Wal-Mart, Pizza Hut and the Albertson’s grocery chain. The firm reported fiscal 1997 revenues of more than $1 billion.
TLP worked with the Windsor, Conn.-based client on projects before receiving the agency of record designation, TLP president and chief executive Bruce Orr said last week.
Brian Sanders, Advo senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said he talked to a mix of undisclosed advertising and promotional marketing shops before selecting TLP for its integrated communications capabilities.
“We are the 800-pound gorilla of the direct marketing industry, but consumers don’t recognize us or the Mailbox Values name. We want to change that,” Sanders said.
Agency and client officials declined to discuss billings. Advo did not post any 1997 ad expenditures, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Sanders said television and radio are among the media vehicles being considered for TLP’s advertising campaign, which is expected to launch early next year. Advo has tested broadcast ads on a limited basis, but the bulk of its direct marketing efforts has been geared at signing new sponsors.
“We’re talking now about building brand equity. We think the ads would say more than just ‘Look for this in the mail,'” Orr said.
TLP’s responsibilities will include creative development and media, along with research and strategic planning initiatives for the client. Trade audiences will continue to be targeted.
TLP, which has offices in Dallas and Windsor, Conn., claimed 1997 billings of $340 million. Its clients include Pizza Hut, Federal Express, Frito-Lay and Citibank.