Doe-Anderson Targets Smokers

When creating its first advertising for U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, one of Doe-Anderson’s first meetings will be with its new client’s lawyers.

Agency art directors and copywriters will need to be almost as familiar with the Master Tobacco Settlement as they are with their target market—suburban and urban adult smokers.

According to the Louisville, Ky., shop’s chief creative officer, Jim White, Doe-Anderson’s understanding of how to work within the restrictions of tobacco advertising and still impact consumers helped the agency win USST’s $20 million account.

White, who has created ads for R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris USA, said new work for the Greenwich, Conn.-based USST brands, which include Copenhagen and Skoal, will be aimed at the estimated 48 million smokers looking for a smokeless nicotine source.

According to agency president and CEO Dave Wilkins, Doe-Anderson’s pitch team traveled the client’s promotional circuit, which includes Nascar, rodeo and drag-racing events in rural, suburban and urban venues to get into the mind-set of current users.

“Those who understood the products, liked them,” Wilkins said, adding that those who do not like the taste of snuff will need some convincing.

The agency may have an easier time with the company’s newest product, Revel. The shop will create a print, direct-mail and in-store campaign for Revel, which USST will launch in the spring. Unlike other moist snuffs, the tobacco in Revel remains in a packet that users place under their tongues.

“It looks like a tea bag,” said client representative Mike Bazinet.

The tobacco and mint-flavored product will be targeted to both men and women.

Although women are not as attracted to smokeless products [as men], “we feel there are some who will find the packet and the flavoring attractive,” Bazinet said.

Doe-Anderson prevailed over co-finalist Doner of Southfield, Mich., in the client’s account review that originally included about 10 agencies, sources said.

Earle Palmer Brown in New York, which held the business after purchasing USST incumbent Warwick Baker O’Neil in New York a year ago, did not defend the account.

EPB has been dismantling its national agency network in recent months. Two weeks ago, Boston-based Havas shop Arnold acquired most of the staff and clients of EPB’s Bethesda, Md., office.