New Ideas Help 2 Shops Keep Their Clients

Incumbents in two highly visible West Coast reviews have overcome the odds and retained their accounts in the past few weeks by offering fresh approaches.
Two weeks ago, Mendelsohn/Zien Advertising in Los Angeles preserved its five-year relationship with BMW of North America’s Western Region Dealer Association by putting aside what it knew about the client, said Claudia Caplan, an MZA creative director who worked on the pitch.
“We went into it as though we were any other contender and tried to view it through fresh eyes,” Caplan said.
MZA retained the estimated $19 million BMW account after a review that included Southern California shops dGWB in Irvine and Kovel Kresser & Partners in Venice. Although the other three regions of BMW’s dealer business were consolidated at New York’s Publicis/Bloom late last year, the client continued the Western review. Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis remains BMW’s lead creative shop.
“Automotive is a difficult category,” Caplan said. “BMW couldn’t be in a position to use someone with a long learning curve.”
MZA president Richard Zien described the agency’s winning strategy as “outthinking and outsmarting everybody else.”
New BMW TV spots are planned for late spring or early summer.
Separately, Evans, Hardy & Young in Santa Barbara, Calif., last week retained its estimated $3 million California Egg Commission account, after a review that initially involved more than a dozen agencies.
“The task [of winning a review] is more difficult when you’re the incumbent, especially if the review goes on for a long time, as it did in our case,” noted Dennis Hardy, EH&Y’s executive vice president and management supervisor. “[Keeping the account] boiled down to presenting a creative idea to them that is dramatically different than anything they’ve done before.”
The agency’s new work will break after Easter, Hardy said.