Having enjoyed a prior relationship with the client, an account roster that appeals to the same demographic and an agency chief that lives on a working tobacco farm, The Buntin Group in Nashville, Tenn., landed Red Man smokeless tobacco from Swedish Match North America.
While total brand support from the client tops $5 million, The Buntin Group is handling the account on an undisclosed fee basis. Work for the Richmond, Va.-based client will involve the Red Man, Red Man Golden Blends, Red Man Select and Granger Select brands. The agency will place all media.
"The Buntin Group knows the smokeless tobacco category better than any other agency in the country," said Tom Decker, director of marketing for Swedish Match. "The [agency] possesses the capabilities to take care of all of our advertising and marketing needs."
Buntin began doing project work on Red Man in 1984, when it was under the Pinkerton Tobacco Co. aegis, and was named agency of record in 1988. That relationship ended when the brand was acquired by Swedish Match in 1992.
"We stayed in touch with them over the years," said agency president and chief executive officer Jeffrey Buntin. "We were able to maintain some good relationships and a few months ago they contacted us to get our thoughts on some promotions and brand strategies."
Buntin was able to reclaim the account without a formal review.
"There ain't a lot of people out there to dance with who know about [smokeless tobacco]," Buntin said. "We think we make wonderful dance partners."
Buntin added Red Man fits well with other clients' products on the shop's roster that appeal to what he calls "regular folks." He points to companies like Goody's Headache Powders, Lava Soap, American Camper, Tractor Supply Co., and Zebco and Quantam fishing gear.