Bronner Unveils Ads for L.L. Bean, Seeks to Unify Image Across Media

Bronner Slosberg Humphrey’s integrated campaign for L.L. Bean reflects the shop’s commitment to building its clients’ brands through experience-based marketing.
The effort includes a new round of print ads, a TV spot, direct mail executions and a Web site and strives to create a uniform brand experience for potential and repeat customers.
“We’re trying to drive people into their catalogs” the way other retail ads seek to drive customers into stores, said Steve Humphrey, president of the Boston agency.
The creative strategy is to portray L.L. Bean as the top purveyor of outdoor gear for family fun and adventure, Humphrey said.
Color print ads mostly feature families enjoying a variety of outdoor activities. Handwritten headlines include “Watch for families at play” and “6 miles to the nearest TV.”
A toll-free number is included for consumers to order L.L. Bean’s free catalogs. The address of the Freeport, Maine, client’s Web site, which features online transactions and catalog ordering, is also displayed. The shop’s Strategic Interactive Group created and maintains the site.
The print ads are running through the end of the year in Good Housekeeping, Backpacker and Outside, among others. Steve Olderman served as creative director. Todd Stone was the copywriter. Pegeen Ryan and Theresa Dolloff handled art direction.
A TV spot, which aired last year to promote the fall catalog, is also appearing. A previously aired holiday ad is set to break by year’s end, and new TV work is on tap for 1998, Humphrey said.
Bronner Slosberg has fashioned a fourth-quarter marketing blitz for the client for the past six years it has held the account, he said.
L.L. Bean’s 1996 sales totaled $1.04 billion, flat compared to 1995. The company does not disclose profits or losses, but official Catharine Hartnett has indicated that recent financial numbers have improved.