Martin Wins Olympus Over Mullen

Olympus America has awarded its marketing business to The Martin Agency.

After a three-month review, the Richmond, Va. shop topped Wenham, Mass.-based Mullen and Hampel/Stefanides in New York to win the camera manufacturer’s estimated $15 million account. Incumbent New York-based Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners did not participate.

Martin’s challenge is to build the client’s solid “point-and-shoot” market share while expanding its position on the fast-growing and highly competitive digital side.

“Along with other brands, Olympus is facing a dramatic replacement of volume in film cameras with digital cameras,” said Martin chief executive officer John Adams. “The name of the game is to make sure.”

Olympus has a strong digital presence; the company is working to maintain film business share through the transition.

Initially, Martin will undertake strategic planning, media planning and development for Olympus’ consumer products group. Its first campaign—the camera segment historically relies on print advertising—is scheduled to break this fall.

“Olympus is a known brand, but by no means at the level we want it to be,” said Martin Lee, the Melville, N.Y. client’s executive director of marketing. “We’re giving Martin responsibility for everything from positioning to advertising … every communication that builds brand equity.”

Lee confirmed that Martin’s pitch team—strategic planner Caley Shaffer, group creative director Hal Tench, media planner Sally Harding and group management supervisor Kim McCullough—carried the day.

“We felt we could have been successful with any of the three finalists,” he said. “But Martin did everything right. The amount of time and resources they put into their pitch was extraordinary.”