Gibson Musical Holds Tryouts For Roster Backups

Lends an Ear to Midsized Performers With Brand-Building Savvy
DETROIT–Gibson Musical Instruments of Nashville, Tenn., is interviewing agencies across the country with the aim of adding one or more candidates to its list of roster shops, said Terry Tirres, corporate director of creative services.
The company uses several agencies on a project basis, including Lightstream in Knoxville, Tenn., Gyro Advertising of Philadelphia and Red Sky Interactive in San Francisco, Tirres said. “We’re not looking to put anyone on a retainer, but we’d like to have more agencies to select from,” she said.
The first project for the new agency will likely be a Gibson product catalog as well as brochures and other promotional materials. “We haven’t had a catalog in several years,” Tirres said.
A new corporate structure which added product managers in all Gibson divisions was installed several months ago. Subsequently, several divisions at the company are also considering moving more heavily into television advertising.
The company’s television advertising has been limited to an annual sponsorship of the Grammy Awards. A spot for the Epiphone division that had a limited run on MTV proved effective, Tirres noted.
Gibson’s current advertising budget is approximately $2 million, Tirres said, although the addition of TV work could push that up.
While the company has been interviewing agencies for several months, the search has been put on hold while Gibson chairman and chief executive officer Henry Juszkiewicz seeks a new corporate marketing director. The previous director, Susan Hopkins, transferred to Gibson Musical’s custom services division about a month ago, according to Tirres.
Tirres said company executives would like to see the Gibson brand promoted more heavily as an American icon.
The company is looking at midsized advertising shops nationwide with brand-building experience.
“We also need agencies with flexibility [and the ability to] move fast,” Tirres said.