SmarterKids.com, an online retailer of educational toys and related products, has selected Orsatti & Partners to handle creative chores for print, interactive and direct marketing.
Orsatti & Partners here was tapped following an evaluation of about a half-dozen shops, saidagency president Lou Orsatti.
Spending is expected to be in the mid- to high-seven-figures.
"It is imperative to take a strategic approach to producing compelling creative that resonates with our target audience of involved parents," said Evelyn Somers, senior vice president of marketing at SmarterKids.com.
"They're smartly positioned against their competitors," Orsatti said. "They have the vision to be a long-term player in this category. They understand the importance of customer retention, management and metrics versus big TV campaigns."
Orsatti was making a reference to several SmarterKids' rivals which have failed, the most notable example being recently defunct Toysmart.com, which broke a $20 million TV push last year through Arnold Communications, Boston.
Online efforts will appear almost immediately, with print and direct marketing efforts to follow, Orsatti said.
Orsatti & Partners succeeds Mullen, Wenham, Mass., which worked on the account on a project basis. Mullen had been tapped by SmarterKids last year and crafted a national TV and radio campaign tagged "Open minds. Open worlds." That effort, which broke in the fall, stressed the client's commitment to helping children aged 2-14 achieve their academic and social potential. Those ads targeted working mothers.
SmarterKids, Needham, Mass., abandoned broadcast ads last month because, "the cost of television was not made up for by an increase in penetration or an increase in sales," Somers said at the time [Adweek, July 11]. HookMedia, Boston, was tapped for interactive and traditional buying chores, replacing Carat Freeman, Newton, Mass., which had worked with Mullen.
SmarterKids.com be-comes one of Orsatti & Partners' largest and most visible clients, along with grocery home delivery service ShopLink.com and flower store chain KaBloom, Orsatti said. All told, the 30-person agency will likely be up 50 percent this year in terms of billings and revenue compared with 1999, he added. The shop has added assignments from Be Free and TrailBreaker in recent weeks.