In addition to shopping for office furniture, setting up computer equipment and getting a refrigerator, Modernista! can now add a branding campaign for The Travel Channel to its list of things to do.
The 2-month-old Boston shop, founded by Lance Jensen and Gary Koepke, last week landed its first client. A startup agency was just what the cable network was looking for, according to Travel Channel marketing vice president Adam Stotsky. "We're in startup mode ourselves, and we wanted a flat, nimble organization. ... There's a degree of hunger in that state of the business. These guys [Jensen and Koepke] have great rƒsumƒs but they need to do great work to put their shop on the map."
The Travel Channel's last agency was M&C Saatchi, New York. Stotsky said he hired M&C Saatchi on a project basis to conduct a brand audit and create some initial ads shortly after he joined the network from Fallon McElligott in New York. Media buying and planning remains with Creative Media in New York.
Billings were not disclosed; Competitive Media Reporting last pegged spending at $3 million.
With the addition of new programming, partnerships with Condƒ Nast Traveler magazine and a growing Web presence for both information and transactions, establishing "a broad brand positioning" is the initial assignment for Modernista! Its first work is scheduled to break in the third quarter.
Jensen, former copywriter on Volkswagen of America at Arnold Communications, and Koepke, who had worked on ESPN while at Wieden & Kennedy, will likely cast The Travel Channel as a fellow traveler.
"We're very excited. It's a great first client," said Jensen. Added Koepke: "This is one that really plays into our strengths." Modernista! is currently among the shops pitching MTV Networks, but as of last week there were no new developments on that front.