Polaris Narrows List

6 Minneapolis Agencies Survive First Cut

By Aaron Baar

CHICAGO–Polaris Industries this week will hear from six Minneapolis agencies interested in steering its estimated $5 million snowmobile and watercraft advertising account, sources said.
Those believed to be participating are incumbent Carmichael Lynch, Clarity Coverdale Fury, Colle & McVoy, Kerker Marketing Communications, Martin/Williams and Peterson Milla Hooks. Each will meet with the Plymouth, Minn.-based company later this week before another cut is made, sources said.
Company officials declined comment. Agency officials either could not be reached or declined comment.
The arrival of Thomas Tiller, recently named president of Polaris, has been cited as one impetus for the review. Sources close to the company said Tiller may want a marketing approach that relies more on brand image and less on technical features.
The company contacted 10-11 agencies nationwide before making the cut last week. Naomi Teske, Polaris’ marketing communications manager, earlier said the company began the review in August “to see if we’re with the right agency” [Adweek, Sept. 7]. Carmichael has handled the company’s advertising since 1983.
The agency’s most recent work for Polaris’ personal watercraft featured humorous artwork with accompanying copy stressing the vehicle’s engine benefits. The campaign is tagged, “Ride the best.”
Polaris spent about $3 million on advertising over the first half of 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting. In addition to its watercraft and snowmobiles, Polaris also makes all-terrain vehicles and Victory motorcycles. Advertising for those lines, which are not part of the review, is handled by Associates
& Stahl in Minneapolis.