Hoovers Taps 3 Texas Finalists

Publicis Dallas, Temerlin McClain, TFA/Leo Burnett Make Cut
DALLAS–Hoovers Online has put its $10-12 million advertising account into review, less than a year after breaking its first national branding campaign from GSD&M.
The Austin, Texas-based online provider of company and financial information recently narrowed its agency search to three finalists: Publicis Dallas; Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas; and TFA/Leo Burnett in Austin.
Three other semifinalists were eliminated in the review’s final cut: Bozell Kamstra Texas and SicolaMartin, both Austin, and GMO/Hill, Holliday in San Francisco.
Hoovers parted ways with GSD&M in March, temporarily moving its account to M2K in Austin, an $8 million agency with clients including Compaq, Intelli-quest and i2 Technologies.
“They [GSD&M] are a top agency and they have great consumer accounts, but we really need an agency that’s a lot more b-to-b focused and who are really experts in online buying,” said Jani Spede, Hoovers senior vice president of advertising and e-commerce.
Spede said Hoovers is specifically searching for an agency that can track visitors to its Web site with a high degree of accuracy.
“We are looking not only for good buying, creative and culture fit, but . . . very sophisticated customer acquisition methodology,” she said.
Overseeing the review for Hoovers are independent consultants Mike Cripe and Gary Stevenson, both in Austin.
The cut to finalists was made following a capabilities presentation in late June. The remaining agencies will give final presentations, possibly including spec creative, with a decision made in August.
Spede said it was uncertain whether Hoovers Online would retain the “Know thy stuff” tagline, which was developed by GSD&M, in an upcoming fall campaign.
“We’re doing a lot of repositioning overall,” she said. “We’re very focused on positioning ourselves as the businessperson’s portal.”
Last autumn’s advertising campaign focused on the tragic consequences of appearing uninformed. Three print ads depicted businesspeople with their heads replaced by cartoon monkeys, clowns and terrified deer, victims of their own sad lack of business information from Hoovers Online. The themeline: “When you’re not informed, it shows.” Both television and print ads ended with the “Know thy stuff” tag. K