NEW YORK — Cotton Inc. said Wednesday it had selected Omnicom Group’s DDB Worldwide as its new advertising agency, finalizing a three-month search.
Cotton Inc.’s advertising, which will have an annual budget in excess of $20 million next year, had been handled for 30 years by Ogilvy & Mather New York and did not come up for review until a few months ago, when Cotton Inc. brought on agency search firm Select Resources International to find a new partner. The final four agencies in the search included Publicis, Lowe, Ogilvy & Mather New York and winner DDB.
“Today, cotton enjoys a 60 percent market share in the apparel and home textile markets. We acknowledge the huge role the strong advertising from Ogilvy & Mather has had in getting us to this commanding share,” said Ira B. Livingston, senior vice president, consumer marketing. “Now, with DDB, we feel that we can effectively develop a coordinated strategy of communicating the benefits of cotton to consumers in a multimedia format.”
DDB’s first project will be to launch a new consumer print, TV and Internet sales promotion and trade advertising campaign that will break in April. Cotton Inc. will cease TV advertising during the first quarter next year to further emphasize the new campaign when it breaks. Concepts for the new campaign are currently getting under way.
With Ogilvy & Mather’s direction, Cotton launched highly successful consumer advertising campaigns, most notably “The Fabric of Our Lives” and a popular trade campaign featuring clay figurines in fashionable outfits representing designer duds made of cotton. Funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, Cotton Inc. is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton.
Ric Hendee, vice president of marketing services, said it was still undecided whether or not the clay doll campaign would continue.
As for what DDB presented to Cotton Inc. that sparked its interest, chief executive officer J. Berrye Worsham said it came down to a new way to target Cotton’s key market of women between the ages of 18 and 34.
“They clearly understand the versatility of this consumer, her lifestyle and the media we need to use in a rapidly changing marketplace,” Worsham said.
DDB, which operates 206 offices in about 96 countries, has worked on projects for companies including Diesel, Bud-weiser and Volkswagen. It also has won more Grand Prix Awards in the 50-year history of the International Advertising Festival in Cannes, France, than any other agency.