Bowflex Maker Looks Beyond DR

Backed by a $95 million annual media spend, Nautilus’ Bowflex muscle-toning device is familiar to many TV viewers. Now get ready for the possibility of a Bowflex treadmill, free weights, gloves and other accessories. One thing is certain: The perennial direct response marketer is going mainstream.

The Vancouver, Wash.-based client last week tapped Foote Cone & Belding in Seattle to provide marketing ideas on how to expand the Bowflex brand. While it won’t abandon the DR approach entirely, Nautilus wants its new shop to develop traditional ads for the company’s eponymous equipment brand as well. The business was in-house (although FCB has worked with Nautilus on a project basis during the past year).

“Our business model is changing from the 100 percent direct model we have to a consumer brand and retail presence, which we need to grow,” said CMO Tim Hawkins, who joined Nautilus early this year from Levi’s, where he worked with FCB San Francisco on Dockers. “World-class marketing is one of FCB’s key competencies.”

FCB Seattle president Kass Sells led the September presentation with ecd Mary Knight and group account director Becky Roberts, who will run the account. Other Interpublic Group companies that helped land the business and will get a piece of the marketing pie are ID Media, multiple offices of Marketing Drive (events and promotions), and The Hacker Group in Bellevue, Wash. (direct marketing).

The IPG team will also work on the client’s Stairmaster and Schwinn Fitness lines, Hawkins said. “It’s a terrific opportunity for our agency,” said Sells. “We very much have a collaborative mentality.” FCB Seattle’s other clients include HP Interactive, Group Health, AAA of Washington State and Noble House Hotels.