McKinney & Silver has earned a berth in the semifinal round of the review for the $40 million advertising account of GoRVing.
Last week, Gary La Bella, vice president of advertising for the Res ton,Va.-based Recreational Vehicle Industry Assoc iation, which is over- seeing the review, confirmed that McKinney in Raleigh, N.C., The Martin Agency, Richmond Va., The Richards Group in Dallas and WestWayne, J. Walter Thompson and Fitzgerald & Co., all Atlanta, will be invited to compete against Eisner & Associates, the Baltimore incumbent, during the week of Jan. 7.
"We have a lot of money on the line," said LaBella. "Eisner has a lot of advantages because of its experience with the account, but when you're investing $40 million, it's wise to make sure we see everything we can possibly see."
After the January presentation, there will be a cut to three finalists, plus Eisner.
"We're going to ask them all to do the same thing, said LaBella. "[Make] a one-hour presentation with spec creative and a sense of their media approach. Maybe not a plan, but an approach and capabilities."
Agencies will be tasked in their creative assignments to develop advertising to build brand awareness and drive traffic, for example, to RV dealers and campgrounds.
In the past, Eisner has presented a choice of campaigns detailed down to storyboards and taglines. "We expect that kind of detail," said LaBella.
A winner will be announced around March 6 in Orlando, Fla., at the RVIA annual meeting.
McKinney was acquired by Paris-based holding company Havas earlier this year and operates as a largely autonomous unit of the Boston-based Arnold Worldwide agency network, which also includes agencies in New York, Richmond, Va., and several European markets.
The GoRVing Coalition operates under an umbrella of trade associations representing RV manufacturers, dealers, parks and campgrounds. The review originally attracted the attention of more than 150 agencies.