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Spark Foundry | Agency Profile, Contacts, AOR, Client Relationships

Service: full service, media specialty

Main Telephone (312) 970-8400
Main Fax (312) 970-8409
Primary Address
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza
Suite 550
Chicago, IL 60654

Spark Foundry Contacts

Contacts (5/181)
Name Title State
Chris B. Chief Executive Officer IL
Sample of Associated Brands
Email: *****@*******.***
Main Phone: (312) 970-8400
Direct Phone: *** **** ***   ext: ****
Direct Fax: *** **** ***
Assistant Name: ** **** ***
Assistant Phone: *** **** ***
Address: 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza
Suite 550
Chicago, IL

John M. Chief Investment Officer IL
Eric L. Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer IL
Katie F. President & Managing Director IL
Brent L. Executive Vice President & Managing Director, Business Development IL

Client Relationships

Brand Service From To Media Spend
******, ***. media buying & planning 2013 present ********
*** ******** *********** AOR - media buying & planning 2013 present ********
****** AOR - media buying & planning 2014 present *******
*******'* **** ******** & ********** Media Buying, Media Planning 2016 present ********
******** **** Media Buying, Media Planning 2017 present ******

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Score 74 - Account in Jeopardy: Duluth Trading names PR AOR ahead of US retail expansion

Subject: direct response, digital, TV print, in-store, social, outdoor


Update (8/9): Added Turner PR to its agency roster to manage all national consumer PR strategy and implementation. Turner will also be responsible for promoting Duluth's retail expansion throughout the US.

The PR shop was likely hired prior to marketing VP Suzanne Harms' departure last month (more below). Jim Burke is currently taking Harms' calls and was promoted to marketing and e-commerce VP, so there is a high probability of other agency changes in the future.

However, keep in mind that Burke's new position is the result of a promotion, which is not typically a harbinger of immediate, sweeping changes. To negate this, though, is the addition of a new PR shop, which usually precedes creative or media appointments. Therefore, agency readers should reach out for potential work down the line.

Sellers - look for high ROI earned and paid media opportunities as DTC expands its US retail presence. Read more about DTC's marketing plans below.

Publicis's Planet Propaganda is creative AOR. All of these relationships are past average tenure (2.5-to-3 years). 

Incumbent: According to Winmo, Colle + McVoy had handled DTC's PR since 2013.

Below was originally published 7/22:

Opportunity: We've confirmed that Suzanne Harms, DTC's VP of marketing, has left the company. Jim Burke is taking her calls and last month was promoted to marketing and e-e-commerce VP (he previously served as VP of direct marketing and inventory planning). Since Burke's new position is a promotion, sweeping changes to strategy and roster will likely not occur in the short term, but there could be opportunity down the line. 

DTC primarily goes after guys but remember that it went public last year, and at the time, planned to focus more on its women's business (more here). So female-focused sellers, particularly those that can target females passionate about the outdoors, should reach out for revenue too. The company just recently released a new campaign for its women's line in May, so look to it as a blueprint of sorts for furthering spending/targeting (see more below).

However, keep in mind that the bulk of DTC's spend is still focused on its much larger men's business, so outdoor-focused sellers of all ilk should be reaching out. 

In the most recent earnings call, CEO Stephanie Pugliese stated that DTC uses promotions for two primary reasons: to convert new customers into the brand during national TV advertising and heavy marketing campaigns, and to remain competitive in times of industry-wide promotions. She also mentioned that DTC "continually analyzes" the results of advertising campaigns and will "actively" make changes to produce the greatest ROI for its marketing spend. Therefore, those who can provide the greatest ROI should have the leg up here. Additionally, DTC is planning to have its new e-commerce platform up and running in late Q2 2017.

According to Winmo, Publicis's Spark SMG handles DTC's media buying and planning.

Additional Information

Marketing & Messaging: DTC ‘s national advertising campaigns feature characters such as Giant Angry Beaver, Buck Naked Guy and Grab-Happy Grizzly that are designed to create an emotional connection with customers. DTC indicates that this approach to marketing gives its products “a distinct identity, enhances our brand and helps us stand out in the market.”  This includes both paid and non-paid advertising, such as SEO, display, paid and unpaid social media and email.

Sponsorship: DTC also engages in event sponsorship, including the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.

Target Customers:   DTC’s  average customer is a “long-standing homeowner” with an annual HHI of $75,000.

National TV Spend: According to 

Note that "Wringer," DTC's spot touting its women's offerings, ran from May 2 to June 12 ($2.5 million). The spot was run most frequently during primetime and early fringe during shows such as "Law & Order: SVU," "Fixer Upper," "Southern Charm," "Flip or Flop" and "Roots."

Digital Breakdown: So far this year, Moat reports that DTC has run 10 display ads on 10 publishers. However, all but one of these were job postings for store openings. For comparision to the same period in 2015, when the company ran 11 display ads (and all brand/product ads) on 517 publishers.

Top ad destinations included,,, and (73% placed site direct). DTC also ran 70 high impact ads and two video ads in H1 last year (73% of videos were also placed site direct).

For full 2015, 37 display ads were run on 2,174 publishers. Sellers, most of last year's display ads were run during H2, so even though its presence has been down in the first half of 2016, there's still a chance that spend will increase in this channel for the back half of the year.

Duluth Trading Co. 
170 Countryside Dr.
Belleville, WI 53508
(608) 424-1544

Jim Burke 
Vice President, Marketing & e-Commerce
(608) 424-1544

Scott DeRuyter 
Director, Digital Marketing & E-Commerce
(608) 424-1544