Hauptman Slides Into Sebago

Portland Agency Will Tout E-Commerce, Adds L.L. Bean Work
BOSTON–Hauptman & Partners has scored a national assignment from Sebago and will fashion ads designed to drive traffic to the footwear maker’s Web site.
Separately, the agency has added to its L.L. Bean work, picking up the Freeport, Maine, company’s retail- stores division.
“There are a lot of national brands in Maine. We’d like to get into these businesses,” said Jim Hauptman, president of the 14-person shop in Portland, Maine. Project work for Sebago and Bean helped Hauptman win both assignments without formal reviews.
The shop was selected by Sebago after the successful completion of catalog and corporate-identity
projects for the client, said Kate Wellehan-Clark, vice president of marketing at Sebago.
For the past two years, the lion’s share of Sebago’s advertising has been crafted by Balet & Albert in New York. That agency is now off the business, Wellehan-Clark said.
Gorham, Maine-based Sebago spent less than $500,000 on ads through most of 1999, per Competitive Media Reporting. Full-year ’98 spending was $700,000, according to CMR. Wellehan-Clark said cost was a factor, but the desire to work with shops closer to home also prompted the agency change.
Spending, estimated at $1-3 million when Balet & Albert got the account, fell off in recent years, prompting agency and client to part. “They couldn’t afford us,” said Balet & Albert president Rick Albert.
Branding chores are now done in-house with an assist from M Space Design in Cambridge, Mass., run by former Toth Brand Imaging designer Melanie Lowe.
Placement for branding efforts–to break this spring in Esquire, GQ, Outside, Sail and elsewhere–has been moved to Boston media consultant Carol Cleveland. Balet & Albert’s most recent ads were tagged “Maine in America,” but Wellehan-Clark said no line is being used for the spring push.
It has not been determined who will place the e-commerce campaign or handle buying, Wellehan-Clark said. Hauptman said his staff is formulating a media plan, which will include a “test buy” of magazines in May; a broader campaign will launch later this year.
Hauptman picked Bean’s retail stores after crafting holiday print work for them. The shop will create regional print and radio ads for Bean’s main store and its L.L. Kids Freeport store; placement is handled in-house, Hauptman said. Mullen, Wenham, Mass., remains lead agency on L.L. Bean’s national account.