Swiss Army Seeks Shop to Carve Branding Ads: Knife Maker Wants Stronger Identity Due to Growing Product Mix

BOSTON-Hoping to sharpen its brand identity in the face of growing confusion, Swiss Army Brands has approached ad agencies about handling its estimated $2-3 million creative assignment.
The client is seeking an agency to create strong brand advertising that will cut across all its product lines and help formulate a more distinct image with consumers, sources said.
Among the shops contacted by the Shelton, Conn.-based client are Mullen in Wenham, Mass.; Gearon Hoffman in Boston; Mad Dogs & Englishman and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, both in New York.
Despite Kirshenbaum’s ownership of Mad Dogs, the two agencies have competed against each other in the past. Both shops are currently pitching Panasonic’s $6-8 million personal care products account.
Swiss Army Brands recently tapped Cone Communications in Boston to handle its public relations, sources said.
Swiss Army Brands director of marketing Jeff Turner could not be reached for comment.
Part of the client’s brand confusion exists from the growing number of products that carry the Swiss Army name and its distinctive logo. Swiss Army is the exclusive marketer of Victorinox Original Swiss Army Knives. In addition, it also markets Swiss Army brand watches, sunglasses and writing instruments. Under the R.H. Forschner name, it markets Swiss Air Force watches and cutlery.
Weiss Whitten Stagliano & Partners in New York at one time handled Swiss Army watches, but that account was moved in-house.
Boston-based Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos earlier this year crafted the launch campaign for Swiss Army sunglasses. The agency is not involved in the current review.
-with staff reports