IRobot Hires The Gate

BOSTON The Gate Worldwide has added advertising chores for iRobot’s home robots division, which markets the Roomba and Scooba automated vacuums.

The Gate, a New York-based independent shop, is tasked with a complete repositioning of the iRobot consumer unit. IRobot has worked with various agencies in the past, such as Gardner Nelson + Partners in New York, which in late 2005 fashioned a campaign tagged “I love robots.”

“The Gate’s marketing insight and ability to communicate iRobot’s Home Robots ‘reason for being’ uncovered product benefits and new market segments that we can own,” said Matt Palma, the client’s vp, sales and marketing. “This insight set The Gate apart from its competitors in the review for our business.” The company, based in Burlington, Mass., spent about $1 million on ads through the first half of 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. (Despite that modest outlay, in past years the company has spent $10-15 million in U.S. measured media.)

TV will launch this fall and the campaign will extend to print and online elements. Other contenders in the review were not disclosed.

The Gate is an international marketing communications firm that claims to handle more than $250 million in client business. It also has offices in London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Johannesburg.

IRobot marks the Gate’s second major client addition in New England in the past year, following its win last year of State Street Global Advisors.