Hush Puppies Taps Arnold

Ron Lawner To Oversee ’99 Global Image Campaign
BOSTON–Hush Puppies has asked Arnold Communications to do for its 29-year-old brand what the Boston agency has done for Volkswagen’s New Beetle: Make it hip.
The shoemaker, which over the last three years has experienced a resurgence in popularity, has hired Arnold to create a global image campaign for 1999.
Billings on the assignment were estimated by a source at $2-3 million domestically, with an additional $2 million being spent overseas.
A division of The Wolverine Co. in Rockford, Mich., the client had worked with Bozell Worldwide in Southfield, Mich., for the last five and a half years. Jeff Lewis, marketing vice president at Hush Puppies, described Bozell’s work as good. “It was on trend from a style standpoint. . . . We needed [an agency] to define the brand.”
There was no formal review. Instead, client executives talked about what advertising best capitalized on a brand’s heritage while being current and driving sales, bringing to mind ads for the New Beetle.
Arnold chief creative officer Ron Lawner has promised to oversee development of the new campaign, due out in December, Lewis said.
How Hush Puppies’ iconic basset hound, brought back by Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis more than 10 years ago, is used in the upcoming campaign remains to be determined.
Arnold’s approach, like with its Beetle ads, will be to create visually sparse executions with simple copy lines that could travel easily around the globe, said Arnold chief marketing officer Fran Kelly, who described Hush Puppies as being the kind of “cool” brand the agency wants to work with.
Hush Puppies is a relatively small account for Arnold, which bills an estimated $750 million for clients including Volkswagen, Bell Atlantic and McDonald’s.

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