Bates USA West has picked up an estimated $5-10 million in advertising duties for a new high-tech startup.
The agency has been tapped to handle creative and media chores for next year's launch of a yet-to-be named phone service marketed by Blue Diamond Software, Irvine, Calif., according to company president and chief executive officer Blaine Ung.
The service, currently being developed along with Lucent Technologies and Dragon Systems hardware and software, is intended to replace traditional automated touch-tone phone menus with speech-enabled applications that use voice-recognition software, said Ung. It will be aimed at college and high school students, he said.
"The Bates USA West team demonstrated a perceptive understanding of our product's unique benefits," Ung said. "Bates' strong emphasis on incorporating a branding strategy into our marketing plan early in the development cycle sold us on their value in our product development efforts."
The agency's experience with the teen market was also a significant factor, he said.
Bates won the business earlier this month after presenting strategic ideas to the client, according to Jeremy Skiver, account supervisor at the Irvine shop.
Bates' newly formed brand consulting division has already begun work on a brand identity package for the new service, Skiver said. The agency also plans a fully integrated campaign for the launch, Skiver added, which will most likely include TV executions.