Hush Puppies Seeks a Shop With Fashion Sense

A veteran Sara Lee executive now at Hush Puppies is looking for an agency to handle the shoemaker’s $1-2 million account.

Gary Ramey, who joined the Rockford, Mich.-based client as vice president of global marketing in November, said he is contacting small agencies because he doesn’t want the Hush Puppies business lost among larger accounts on a client roster.

“We’re not huge, but we have one of those brands where you say it and everybody smiles,” Ramey said of the casual-shoe brand whose familiar logo is a basset hound.

Ramey previously held a number of general management and marketing positions during a 10-year career at Chicago-based Sara Lee.

Ramey said the selection of an agency was “critical” as Hush Puppies, owned by Wolverine World Wide, seeks to in crease its domestic sales volume.

The selected shop will have “a good grasp of department stores and fashion,” Ramey said.

There is no incumbent on the account and the brand has not been extensively advertised recently. The company’s media outlay through September of this year was only $128,000, according to CMR.

Hush Puppies has worked on a project basis with a number of design firms since it last broke a print campaign in late 2000 from Fitch in Columbus, Ohio.

The tagline from that effort, “Form meets fun,” delivered a message of physical and emotional comfort while touting a neo-fashionable return to style.

The brand’s creative heritage includes Fallon (then Fallon McElligott), which handled Hush Puppies in the early 1990s, and Arnold Worldwide, which had the brand at the end of the decade. In between, Bozell, Detroit, won awards for its Hush Puppies work.