Department 56 Collects a Shop

Miniature-Village Maker Picks Carmichael
CHICAGO-Collectibles company Department 56 has hired Carmichael Lynch to create its first consumer campaign.
Areti Passas, vice president of marketing at the Eden Prairie, Minn.-headquartered company, confirmed the assignment, but declined to offer details. Billings were not disclosed. The company spent $1.6 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Department 56 initially contacted a number of Minneapolis agencies about the account [Adweek, March 22]. There was no incumbent. CL’s public relations arm, Carmichael Lynch Spong, is the company’s public relations agency of record.
Department 56 is a designer, importer and distributor of ceramic and porcelain collectibles. It introduces approximately 1,000 new products every year but is best known for its lighted villages.
The products are sold in more than 6,000 department, home accessory and collectible stores nationwide. The company opened its first retail shop over the weekend in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.
Foley Sackett, another Minneapolis agency, designed the packaging and signage for the store.
That assignment was not related to the ad account, and the agency did not participate in the review, officials said.
“Our challenge was to create synergy among Department 56’s numerous and diverse product lines,” said Ron Sackett, the agency’s director of creative services. “We’ve achieved a brand identity that can walk out of the store.” ƒ