Wickersham To Launch Mobile911

SecureAlert, the exclusive distributor and marketer of Magnavox Wireless Security products and services, has tapped Wickersham Hunt Schwantner here to create a brand-building and product campaign.
The unit of Boston-based Arnold Communications will create and place a national TV push that will break in the fall. Ads will direct consumers to the Knoxville, Tenn.-based client’s toll-free number or Web site, said managing partner Jim Schwantner. Billings were not disclosed.
The product, dubbed Magnavox Mobile911, allows consumers to call the three-digit emergency telephone number anywhere in the country and activate a siren to scare off assailants or attract assistance. The battery-powered product will retail for $199.
Though Wickersham Hunt will initially tout Mobile911, the agency plans to leverage the Magnavox name in an effort to establish a strong brand identity against better-known competitors, Schwantner said.
Ads were being shot last week and are expected to launch in a “pilot phase” in some markets on cable TV in mid-September, said SecureAlert chief marketing officer Michael Bernstein. The campaign will roll out nationwide before year’s end.
SecureAlert three years ago spun off from Philips Consumer Electronics–which owns the Magnavox name–and has never had a concerted ad push or agency of record, Bernstein said. Wickersham Hunt’s work for Bose Corp. and MediaOne caught the client’s eye and led to the shop pitching the business against one undisclosed “larger agency,” he added.
The category has been heating up of late, with ADT handing its $30 million account to Doner in Southfield, Mich., and Brink’s Home Security moving its $10-25 million business from The Boston Group to Deutsch in New York.
Bernstein conceded that SecureAlert does compete with ADT and Brink’s in terms of home systems but said their machinations were not a major factor in choosing to step up its own advertising efforts.