Industrial clothing and footwear retailer Mark’s has named Vancouver-based Will as its new lead creative and strategy agency.
Mark’s is the largest client to date for Will, a boutique agency set up in late 2014 by husband-and-wife team Nick Richards and Ute Preusse.
The agency started working with Mark’s on a project basis at the end of 2015, including its cross-platform campaign launched recently called “Step into life,” promoting the brand as a top retailer of men’s jeans.
On Monday, Will announced it would handle all of Mark’s ongoing campaigns and brand development projects. Mark’s previous lead agency was Sid Lee.
“This is an incredible opportunity for our agency,” said Richards, Will’s executive creative director.
Preusse, Will’s director of strategy, said a dedicated team has been put on the Mark’s account, including Noemie Bessette, its director of client services, and creative director Lisa Lebedovich, both of who were hired last year.
Will’s mandate is to maintain Mark’s roots in industrial apparel, while still pushing the casual wear side of the company owned by Canadian Tire Corporation.
“We will continue to reinforce the positioning of Mark’s as the retailer for everyday life in Canada, it’s the bedrock of the brand, while continuing to reinforce men’s casual retail, in particular jeans, footwear and outerwear,” Preusse told Marketing.
The campaigns will also continue to include a mix of traditional, digital and social media.
“The Mark’s brand is continually expanding its customer base, and our work will be aimed at broadening and deepening their relationship with the Mark’s brand and its products,” Richards said.
Richards and Preusse worked with David Lui, Mark’s vice-president, marketing, when they all had different jobs. Lui was at retailer The North West Company, and the couple was with Cossette.
“We felt Will’s agility and speed and understanding of brand and retail was a strength that would definitely add to the Mark’s brand,” Lui told Marketing.
He said Mark’s was looking for a new perspective on its marketing as the brand grows and evolves.
“Will’s mandate is to continue to elevate our brand and attract our younger demographic, which is a 30-to-49-year old customer,” Lui said.
The announcement comes as Mark’s rebrands its Imagewear division, specializing in industrial and corporate apparel, to Mark’s Commercial.
It’s also ramping up its digital brands, including through new ecommerce sites.
Will currently has 14 full-time staff in Vancouver handling clients such as Mark’s as well as Nature’s Path Foods, Royal Roads University, Canadian Freestyle Skiing, Hootsuite and the BC Lottery Corporation.