Antler moves to shed its ‘retired colonel’ image

Antler, the luggage manufacturer, has kicked off a media relations assault to revamp its ‘retired colonel’ image.

The company has trebled PR spending this year, awarding Storm Communications a one-year consumer PR contract after a competitive pitch that included Bridge Communications and Red Hot PR.

Antler marketing manager Christine Gainsley said the company wanted to use PR to change its products’ perception as being associated with ABC1 ‘retired colonels in the West Country’ aged over 45, and target a broader market of ABC1s aged over 30.

‘The first thing Storm did last week was hold a presentation with the National Magazine Company, trying to interest fashion editors in looking at Antler products differently,’ said Gainsley.

‘Our goods are known for reliability and durability. We want them to be known for their innovative design.’

Antler has sought to tap into the trend for more short breaks by marketing weekend bags, backpacks and pull-along holdalls that appeal to younger travellers. The PR campaign will target the fashion, travel and shopping sections of women’s and men’s magazines such as Cosmopolitan and GQ, weekend editions of national newspapers including The Times and The Daily Telegraph, and their Sunday travel sections. The campaign will also maintain contacts with the older market through titles such as Which?

Storm associate director Julia Savage will be the account director for Antler, while Amanda Williams, a Storm director, is in overall charge of the Antler project. Both will report to Gainsley.

Antler shifted its strategy last May with an advertising campaign carrying the slogan: ‘Antler: the future of travel’. This was accompanied by a stockist hotline that provided market research.

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