According to the Stoughton, Mass.-based footwear manufacturer, Reebok will be targeting three markets for the test effort: San Francisco, Atlanta and Chicago.
'It's being done so we can do a better job with our local retailers,' said David Ropes, vp of marketing services worldwide for Reebok.
Other sources said the move comes in response to retailers who have complained that the Planet Reebok campaign produced by Chiat/Day, N.Y., has not done enough to ring their cash registers. The regional campaigns are expected to take a variety of forms and will range from coop advertising to promotional events such as sponsoring local runs. Regional campaigns, for instance, may use local sports stars who may not have national appeal. Unlike the national advertising, the regional work is expected to be highly focused on specific products.
'Both Nike and Reebok are at a point of diminishing sales on business from their national advertising campaigns,' said John Horan, publisher of Sporting Goods Intelligence, a newsletter in Glen Mills, Pa., who noted Reebok has shifted gears by offering more discounts and incentives to retailers. 'They are trying to drive sales with real specific advertising so retailers will want to keep shelf space for their stuff.'
Though the company will not confirm it, Reebok will budget $1-3 million for each region, funds expected to be drawn from its national ad budget - $85 million in 1992, according to Competitive Media.
The role of the new agencies selected in relation to Reebok's agency of record is not known. Reebok said it is talking to agencies that are event and promotion specialists as well as traditional shops. Other sources said the company is targeting agencies with strong creative reputations.
Nevertheless, the regional campaigns are being viewed as a way in the door for any agency that might hope to chip away at Chiat/Day's hold on the account and win a much bigger piece of the business.
In San Francisco, sources said last week Reebok had pared its list to just two agencies.
Ropes declined to disclose the names of the shops he is talking to.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)