A Means to an End

Creatives from Lands’ End’s large in-house advertising department will be expected to work closely with McKinney + Silver as the two move forward together.

The Raleigh, N.C., agency bested Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis and The Richards Group in Dallas for the $20 million account. The review was run by Rojek Cutcher Group in Cleveland.

The account had briefly been at Element 79 in Chicago, where it had been moved from DDB in Chicago. DDB handles J.C. Penney’s $200 million account, which conflicted with Lands’ End’s new parent, Sears, Roebuck and Co. Sears bought Lands’ End for $1.9 billion in July.

Lands’ End vice president and creative director Lee Eisenberg called the decision to hire McKinney “pretty unanimous,” citing the agency’s respect for the client’s in-house advertising department.

Catalog work for the 40-year-old company will continue to be produced in-house, but McKinney will provide the client’s creative staff with what Eisenberg called “a series of serves and volleys.”

Part of the shop’s challenge will be to find new customers for Lands’ End products—customers who fit its historically affluent, literate demographic—and direct them to Sears. One way to do that might be by connecting catalog shoppers with local Sears stores.

The win is the first for McKinney since Brad Brinegar came on board as CEO eight months ago. He said it reflects what he wants in the future for the shop—”to take a reasoned approach to who I want as clients and go out for them,” Brinegar said. “We wanted [Lands’ End] on our roster and organized ourselves around winning.”