Gkv Takes the Lead for Lance

Lance has chosen gkv advertising as its lead agency, the client confirmed.

The Baltimore shop competed against two Charlotte, N.C., agencies, Wray Ward Laseter and The Bolt Group. Bolt will continue to handle the snack-food maker’s packaging design.

Gkv will create the Charlotte-based Lance’s first ads since 1998 when it launches the client’s newest product, Poppers, a line of mini-sandwich crackers and cookies in re-sealable packages.

Although the client will also boost spending for its line of Cape Cod and Thunder potato chips, Poppers, aimed at “tweens” and teenagers, is expected to reinvigorate the 90-year-old brand.

Billings are undisclosed. The company, which had sales of about $600 million in 2001, plans to launch a campaign that will run on children’s and other cable television programming. Work is scheduled to break in first-quarter 2003. Gkv will also develop sweepstakes promotions and an on-line component.

According to Ken Yednock, agency executive vice president and chief operating officer, gkv’s category experience and insights into how the client distributes its snack brands elicitedan invitation to pitch the account.

After reading ac-counts of Lance’s new-product plans, Yednock sent client executives a sampling of marketing concepts. “We tipped our hand a bit and they liked what they saw,” he said.

Yednock, who has worked on the Kraft and Keebler accounts, said that Lance’s direct-to-store distribution system allowed “a huge amount of marketing ideas in the way they could allocate dollars around the country.”

During the review pitch to client officials, the agency presented a creative campaign and media plan targeting youngsters.

Said Yednock, “We recommended that they focus on a consumer segment and on key markets where they had an opportunity to enhance sales.”

Todd Phillips, Lance’s senior director of marketing, said he was impressed with gkv’s creative product.

“Their reel struck me as tongue-and-cheek and entertaining but with a simple communication point that was well thought out.”

When marketing to the 8- to 14-year-old demographic, Yednock said advertisers need to create ways for children to “uncover” products they can own. “If we give it to them, it’s not cool,” he said. “If it’s discovered by them, it is cool.”