2 Agencies to Split HoMedics

Health products marketer HoMedics has split advertising duties on its $5-10 million business into two categories, assigning separate agencies to each.

Copper in Kalamazoo, Mich., will han dle advertising for the company’s namesake brand spas and massagers, as well as the Thera-P, Therapist Select and Body Basics sub-brands, according to Paulette Abraham, HoMedics’ director of marketing and product development.

Periscope in Minneapolis will handle the company’s dental products, in cluding the launch of a new product line this fall, Abraham said.

“Dental segments out of our business cleanly,” she said of the split. “So, we’re choosing to have one company focus on that.”

Abraham declined to divulge the billings for each piece of business, saying the Commerce Township, Mich., company was still finalizing its budget.

HoMedics spent $5 million advertising all its products last year, down from $12 million in 2000, according to CMR.

The account awards come after a review of four Midwest shops. The other agencies vying for the account were Gabriel deGrood Bendt in Minneapolis and Jordan Tamraz Caruso in Chicago.

“All four groups were good,” Abraham said. “When we were looking at the entire program, we felt there were strategic fits [with Copper and Periscope].”

Periscope’s first work is expected in the fourth quarter, Abraham said, while Copper’s first work is likely to break in early 2003.

The account had been with Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis for two years. Sources said staffing changes at the agency may have contributed to the HoMedics’ decision to look elsewhere.

Campbell Mithun, which was HoMedics’ first agency, devised the tagline, “The beauty of living well,” which will continue to be used, Abraham said.

“We did a lot of work to get to that line,” she said. “We’re going to stick with it for a while.”

Campbell Mithun’s most recent work for the company featured the BubbleSpa Bath Mat Massager, an electronic, temperature-controlled bubbling bath mat.

One spot showed three people—an overworked office drone, a female school-bus driver and a mover pushing a piano up a flight of stairs—dreaming of the spa awaiting them at home. The soundtrack featured an adaptation of the song “Tiny Bubbles.”