Fort Franklin Scores New Military Bag Account

Fort Franklin has been tapped by D.J. Manufacturing to mastermind Army Bags’ first foray into consumer marketing. Spending for the first year is expected to be about $1 million.

The Boston shop was selected by the Caguas, Puerto Rico-based client to create a brand identity and marketing campaign for its durable green backpacks, which are standard issue for U.S. Army recruits.

Fort Franklin’s media partner for Army Bags is expected to be named this week. Fort Frank lin’s client roster includes Kangol, Gadsby Hannah, Cider Jack Hard Cider and Zed.

Fort Franklin was chosen after a review of several undisclosed agencies; the shop gave a capabilities-based presentation.

“We love working on unique brands, and we’re good at building [them] from the ground up,” said Marc Gallucci, president and creative director of Fort Franklin.

Gallucci’s past work for Eastpak as a staffer at Clarke Goward worked in Fort Franklin’s favor. A former Eastpak executive, Jim Salzenstein, is a marketing consultant for D.J. Manufacturing, according to Gallucci.

“Fort Franklin has the right combination of break through work, category experience and the proven success of building a brand from the ground up,” Salzenstein said.

D.J. Manufacturing employs 450 people and is currently working on five government contracts.

The client intends to market its military-style bags, known to most consumers by their durable material and camouflage colors, to 18-24-year-olds. A duffel bag, priced at $30, will initially be available through the company’s Web site later this year. Different styles of the bags will roll out later, such as field packs and a variety of backpacks.

“We have lots of experience in the fashion-apparel category, so this further extends our portfolio,” Gallucci said. “Plus, it’s always great to get new stuff in and keep things varied.”

The 20-person shop has begun work on a marketing effort that will include print and radio, as well as a company logo and updated Web site. The effort is expected to break nationally in September.