C-K Job Is to Keep Handymen Asking for WD-40

Cramer-Krasselt’s challenge on WD-40’s portfolio of brands is to keep the image of the well-known products fresh and introduce them to new generations of do-it-yourselfers, an agency executive said.

The Milwaukee shop won the San Diego-based com pany’s estimated $5 million ad account, following a review that included sev eral West Coast agencies.

Among the finalists were California shops Ground Zero in Marina del Rey, Colby & Partners in Santa Monica, Dailey & Associates in West Hollywood and DGWB in Santa Ana, the client confirmed.

WD-40 last worked with Campbell Mithun in San Diego, which this spring launched a TV effort for Lava soap that sought to broaden the clean ser’s appeal to women and men. That relationship ended in June, leading to the review.

C-K’s business includes advertising for three WD-40 brands: all-purpose lubri cants WD-40 and 3-In-One; and heavy-duty hand cleaner Lava. Media planning is also part of the win.

Flagship brand WD-40, the spray lubricant in the well-known blue-and-gold can, will be the initial focus for the agency, said Paul Bentley, general manager of C-K’s Milwaukee office.

“Obviously they know these are brands that have cachet over time, almost icon-type brands,” Bentley said. “They want to reinforce that. Even icon brands, they have to be reinvigorated and brought to the next wave of do-it-your-selfers and consumers.”

A brand-planning pro cess will precede decisions on media mix and exact ad plans. C-K’s first work is expected by early spring, Bentley said.

C-K leveraged its experience with hardware brands such as MasterLock and Dremel and its packaged-goods work for Birds Eye and Rexall Sundown to win the business, Bentley said.

The shop approached WD-40 at last year’s National Hardware Show in Chicago, starting a relationship that led it into the pitch.

WD-40’s public relations account continues to be at Nuffer, Smith, Tucker in San Diego.