New Balance Goes Into Review

BOSTON New Balance has placed its estimated $15-20 million ad account in review, hiring Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., to oversee the process.

The Boston-based company has long used independent Boathouse in Waltham, Mass., as its lead shop, and that agency is expected to defend, the client said today. Both creative and media chores are up for grabs. The review will likely be completed in the fall.

“We did appoint a new CEO earlier this year, Rob DeMartini, who is leading a strategic planning process that is looking at all aspects of the company’s business,” said a New Balance representative when asked why the review was launched.

The company last November awarded its interactive account and other nontraditional marketing chores to independent Boston shop Almighty following a review. The work included strategic and creative responsibilities as well as media duties. Havas’ Euro RSCG 4D had handled digital assignments.

New Balance in February attempted to rev up its marketing efforts via Boathouse with ads backing a new division called NBx, which will also serve as the brand name of a new performance footwear collection. NBx footwear and apparel are sold via the running specialty channel.

The work strove to capture the essence of the dedicated runner and show athletes in real-life situations. Drive, determination and passion for the sport distinguish them from “weekend warriors” and casual runners.

Film crews gained insights on runners’ everyday routines by shadowing both men and women to collect ad footage. The campaign focused on the key motivations these runners expressed during filming, in each case raising their enthusiasm to the “Power of X” by coining phrases such as “desirex,” “heartx” and “dedicationx.”