Eisner Makes It ‘Easy’ for Dansk

ATLANTA Eisner Communications’ first campaign for Dansk launched in bridal magazines this month.

The effort, Dansk’s first national print push in 10 years, revolves around the tagline, “Dansk. Make it easy.”

The company, a division of Brown-Forman in Louisville, Ky., makes and markets dinnerware, flatware, glassware and cookware. Dansk was purchased by Lenox about 10 years ago, said Michael Rowland, senior vice president, management supervisor at Eisner in Baltimore. Marketing efforts idled while the company invested in creating a niche for the higher priced Lenox product line.

“Just as they bought it, the retail revolution kicked in with the emergence of [stores like] Bed Bath & Beyond,” said Rowland. “It became clear that Dansk could occupy an undercatered niche within the tabletop category as part of the Lenox portfolio by taking on a less formal lifestyle arena.”

For the ads, executive creative director Steve Etzine decided against static product shots in favor of carefully coordinated photographs featuring people entertaining friends. Because there are so many Dansk products and patterns, Etzine and photographer Maura McEvoy embedded them in the lifestyle ads, selling, in effect, the brand.

“When you focus on product shots, you take the chance of losing someone if they don’t like the pattern,” said Etzine.

In one ad, a red-haired girl sits at a kitchen table, set with a red-and-white checked tablecloth, striped napkins, red-and-white plates and cherry-printed glassware. In the foreground a hand holds a tour guide with the family’s name, description and star rating listed along one side. Copy parodies a party critic, which, according to the agency, brings the reader into to the ads.

The agency was also able to incorporate another Brown-Forman brand, a strategy Etzine called “eggs and bacon.” In this ad, three bachelors prepare to entertain. A bottle of Jack Daniels, another Brown-Forman product, catches the eye more readily than the simple black dinnerware next to it.

The campaign will run in Wedding Bells, Bride and Modern Bride through December. A second campaign will launch in lifestyle magazines in 2004.

Eisner, which handles creative work for Brown-Forman’s Lenox giftware, added Dansk to its roster earlier this year following a review.

Spending is undisclosed. TNS Media Intelligence/CMR lists 2002 ad spending for the Gorham and Lenox divisions at $4 million. The Dansk print effort will be funded from the same budget.

Lenox and Dansk are headquartered in Lawrenceville, N.J.