Austin, Texas, shop Bam! got its largest win to date with the $8 million full-service U.S. account of Japan-based Akia Corp., which just launched stateside sales of its personal computers in September.
The advertising account of Akia Corp. USA boosts overall billings to $14 million for the 18-month-old agency, which is headed by principals David Bernert and Mike Bevil.
The account will focus on heavy print advertising, direct mail and collateral work for Akia, which sells its PC models through direct channels.
"The experience we had on Power [Computing] and Dell got us in the door," said Bernert, who has had account service stints at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco and The Richards Group in Dallas. "It was our consumer experience" that helped win the business, he said.
Bam! defeated five undisclosed agencies for the account because of its creative pitch and a structure that only allows for a handful of clients, said Akia marketing communications manager Janet Vito.
"We actually liked that they are small and limit their clients, and their commitment to us as one of their lead clients," Vito said.
Vito previously worked with the shop while at former Bam! client Power Computing, the Austin-based Apple Macintosh-clone manufacturer now looking into the Windows-PC environment.
Vito said media buys through Bam! will be placed in eight major trade magazines, including PC Magazine and Computer Shopper. Bam!'s first ads will appear in January editions.
Heading the creative effort will be Bevil, a former senior art director at GSD&M in Austin.
Akia is known for its Mystique line of computers that include flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors. The company also markets a series of notebook computers.
Akia officials with direct PC sales backgrounds include Japanese founder Katsumi Iizuka, former president of Dell Computer Japan, and Akia USA president David Register, also an ex-Dell executive.