Totes-Isotoner Hires Northlich

CHICAGO Totes-Isotoner has enlisted independent agency Northlich to handle its advertising, brand identity and public relations programs, the client confirmed.

“Totes-Isotoner is looking forward to revitalizing our core brands while pursuing new market opportunities,” said Michael Katz, senior vice president of the company’s U.S. wholesale division, in a statement. “We believe the best way to do that is through a strategic and integrated approach, and we were impressed with Northlich’s track record for creating insightful brand strategies supported by creative integrated campaigns.”

The Cincinnati-based client is a leading marketer of umbrellas, gloves and slippers. Most of the company’s past ad efforts have focused on driving holiday purchases. The independent Cincinnati shop, however, will look to drive sales throughout the year, according to agency management supervisor Dina Keenan.

The agency will begin consumer research this fall, with a new advertising effort to launch sometime next year. It was unknown if there was a review for the business.

Totes-Isotoner’s last known agency was WonderGroup, also in Cincinnati. A 2004 spot from the company depicted how one of the company’s lightweight umbrellas protected a woman from the advances of a man who approaches her in a bus shelter. “Do you believe in fate?” he asks, giving her the eye. “I did,” she replies, before moving into the rain protected by her umbrella.

Billings for the account were not disclosed. The company spent $3 million on advertising last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.