Clarke Goward Wins Bob’s Stores

BOSTON Clarke Goward has picked up the $5 million account of Bob’s Stores.

The Boston-based independent shop bested Connelly Partners/CGN, Boston; The Cox Group, New York; Mintz & Hoke, Avon, Conn.; and Lang Durham, Hartford, Conn., for the business. The Meriden Conn., chain, which operates about 35 stores in the Northeast, had handled ads in-house since summer 2001.

Clarke Goward is charged with changing customers’ perceptions of the chain as a sporting-goods retailer competing with the likes of Foot Locker and MVP Sports, according to agency president Chris Lawson.

“They have a range of top-quality brands, but people don’t understand what Bob’s is about,” Lawson said.

To win the pitch, Clarke Goward presented a campaign that emphasized Bob’s merchandise as “brands for living, working and playing,” according to Lawson. That strategy will be behind a TV and radio branding campaign set to launch in April. Low prices, which were a main theme of prior campaigns, will be de-emphasized, Lawson said.

Spots promoting back-to-school and holiday sales are also planned throughout the year. The creative effort will be led by cd Jim Amadeo.

Other clients of the agency, which claims billings of $46 million, include Rockland Trust, Papa Ginos, Nstar, Bulmers America and Cambridge Savings Bank.