GoRVing Gathers Semifinalists in $40 Mil. Review

Finalists in the ongoing $40 million GoRVing Coalition review will be expected to produce detailed brand building and retail campaigns for the Reston, Va.-based client, sources said.

Six semifinalists—The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C.; The Richards Group in Dallas; and WestWayne, J. Walter Thompson and Fitzgerald + Co., all Atlanta—were chosen last week to vie against incumbent Eisner Communications of Baltimore in January. Three finalists will again face Eisner in a creative shootout in March, when a winner will be determined.

“We have a lot of money on the line,” said Gary LaBella, vice president of advertising for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association in Reston. “Eisner has a lot of advantages because of its experience with the account. But when you’re investing $40 million, it’s wise to make sure we see everything we can possibly see.

“We’re going to ask them all to do the same thing: a one-hour presentation with spec creative and a sense of their media approach,” he said. “Maybe not a plan, but an approach and capabilities.”

Agencies will be asked in their creative assignments to develop advertising to build brand awareness and drive traffic, for example, to RV dealers and campgrounds.

In the past, Eisner has presented storyboards and taglines in a choice of campaigns. “We expect that kind of detail,” said LaBella

A winner will be announced around March 6 in Orlando, Fla., at the RVIA annual meeting.

The GoRVing Coalition operates under an umbrella of trade associations representing RV manufacturers, dealers and facilities.

Like other parts of the tourism and travel industry, RV business has tailed off in recent months after a five-year growth spurt that saw the average age of consumers drop nearly a decade to the mid-40s.

“We don’t want a hard-sell campaign to sell motor homes,” said LaBella. “We’re interested incommunicating the benefits of spending quality family time in the outdoors.”