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Techsonic's Fast Cast Nets Agency

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Fitzgerald Quickly Lands Branding for Fish-Finding Electronics
ATLANTA--Fitzgerald & Co. has a high-tech fish story to tell.
The Atlanta shop last week landed agency of record status for Techsonic Industries, a manufacturer of fish-finding marine electronics. Though most anglers are known for their patience, executives at Techsonic said they selected a shop for their $3-5 million account in two weeks.
"This is one very focused, organized and directed company," said Lisa Galanti, executive vice president and managing director at Fitzgerald. "Some prospective clients could take some lessons from these guys."
"We wanted to make a decision quickly, so once we set up a short list with our priorities, we made a move," said client brand manager Kimberly Meade. She said the incumbent, Nelson Graphic Design & Photography in Baxter, Minn., did not pitch.
Meade said Techsonic talked with five agencies, but two--O2 Ideas in Birmingham, Ala., and Bear Advertising in Westlake Village, Calif.--were eliminated when the company concluded it "made the most sense" to hire an Atlanta shop near its brand managers' offices in Alpharetta, Ga.
Minus the two out-of-state shops, Fitzgerald was left to compete against Sawyer Riley Compton and Ames Scullin O'Haire, both of Atlanta. Meade said it was Fitzgerald's strong branding background that made the difference.
"Our main reason [for choosing Fitzgerald] was they had the most experience in building brands," she said. "They were able to whip out three in-depth case studies, followed by about a dozen other case studies that showed, 'We took it from here to here.' The breadth of their knowledge convinced us they were the best possible people for our team."
"It was a quick, focused pitch, with no spec creative," Galanti said. "We asked what didn't work in their previous relationship and showed what we could do for them, for all four of their brands."
Techsonic in Eufaula, Ala, makes four different electronic fish-finders--Humminbird, Fisheye, Cetrek and Zercom Marine--each of which will require a separate campaign.
"You're basically getting four brands in one shot," Meade said. "So even though this is a $3-5 million account, it's actually four smaller accounts."
New advertising will break in January 2000, primarily in print and broadcast. Fitzgerald will also handle all media duties.