Pentax Follows Execs to Launch

Launch Advertising, a Denver shop formed less than five months ago, has won the Pentax USA account and will launch work for the camera maker in time for the holidays.

The shop, founded by three former employees of Thomas & Perkins in Denver, landed the business without a review. The three had worked on Pentax at T&P before starting Launch in May.

“They thought we were the three people who knew their business inside and out and decided to go with us,” said Betsy Bartholomew, Launch co-founder and account planner. The other partners are copywriter Martha Peck and art director Suzette McKinnon.

The shop will handle all domestic marketing for the 50-year-old company and its line of professional, digital and point-and-shoot cameras. The client, based in Englewood, Colo., spends roughly $5 million on advertising annually, sources said.

Launch created four print ads that will roll out in late October and November, Bartholomew said. Executives at the agency said women are the more frequent users of digital cameras, and ads will primarily target them.

One print ad has a photo of a chair with a pillow that looks to be made from a Pentax operating manual. Another has a lamp made out of the manual. “The idea was that [the cameras] are so easy to use that you can use the manual for something else,” Bartholomew said.

Two other ads feature the Pentax Optio digital camera. The small camera and its battery package are seen jump-starting a car and powering an electric guitar.

There is no tagline.

“The new digital campaign continues to evolve Pentax as a contemporary brand, broadening its appeal to women and younger audiences, as well as men,” said Lorri Avery, the client’s marketing manager. “[The advertising] brings new energy to our digital products and enhances our corporate image as a progressive, forward-thinking company.”

Pentax is Launch’s only client so far, but Bar tholomew said it provides a good opportunity. “Our new Pentax campaign is the perfect example of what we love to do: provide quality ideas directly to our clients without any unnecessary layers or waste,” she said.

The print ads will run in magazines such as Wired, American Photo, InStyle, Real Simple, Outside and PC Magazine.

T&P’s work for Pentax included a campaign starring Steve Irwin, host of The Crocodile Hunter. The tagline was, “Reliable gear for your adventures.”