Arnold Falls in Nick Review

NEW YORK-Chalk one up for the little guy. New York’s Kidvertisers last week beat Arnold Communications in Boston, DiNoto Lee in New York and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., to take the estimated $15 million Nickelodeon account, sources said.
Kidvertisers, a creative boutique with eight full-time employees and about $8 million in billings, is agency of record for Nick Jr., a morning programming lineup, and has worked on a project basis handling licensing, Nickelodeon magazine and international marketing for nearly five years.
On Nick Jr., Kidvertisers worked with Ruth Sarlin, vice president of brand and franchise marketing who led the Nickelodeon review with director of brand and franchise marketing Richard Loomis.
Although Kidvertisers would not confirm the win, co-president and account manager Larry Nunno said the pitch went very well. Kidvertisers presented polished print work, including a trade campaign, and a video using footage shot in Central Park specifically for the pitch. The work focused on “the wonderment of kids and celebrating how talented and individual they are,” he added.
Nunno said Kidvertisers presented a campaign aimed at kids but added that “the best way to parents’ hearts is through showing kids having fun; they relate it to their own kids.”
A source at a losing shop complained that Nickelodeon wants “to be a player but it doesn’t know who or how it needs to play to.”
How will Kidvertisers handle an account that could nearly triple its billings? Nunno said the shop promised to add at least three high-level staffers to fill holes in its marketing and TV production areas.
“We were afraid of Arnold,” Nunno said. “We had worked together on Hasbro a few years ago and they knocked us out of that box.” Arnold won the Playskool account but lost it after a year when the client opted to seek a shop with global capabilities.