CHINO, CA: A division of Jacuzzi has taken on Northlich to handle a seven-figure integrated PR and advertising campaign for its Jacuzzi and Sundance brands of hot tubs and spas.
"PR is a significant portion of our efforts," said Jerry Greer, VP of sales and marketing with the Jacuzzi Spa Division. PR efforts for the brands will kick off with a press event this spring, he said, though he would not disclose a PR budget for the effort.
Greer selected Northlich as his group's AOR because of the agency's experience working with the National Pool and Spa Institute, a trade association.
"The positioning of the Jacuzzi brand centers around the escape from everyday life that this brand brings," Greer said, adding that PR efforts will focus on the escape message as well as on the medical benefits of the company's products.
"It's a departure for us to have an agency of record, but it was an appropriate time for the hot-tub category here to have its own representation," Greer said.
Despite the recession, hot-tub sales grew 50% last year, Greer explained.
Jacuzzi is the number-three brand in the category, and Sundance is number two. Collectively, the two brands have more market share than category leader Hot Spring Spas, Greer said.
Northlich will maintain a staff of six people working on the PR portion of the integrated campaign, said Greg Sendi, SVP and managing director of PR at the Cincinnati agency.
While some consumers use the Jacuzzi name in a generic sense for any hot tub, Sendi said, "I don't think that Jacuzzi runs the risk of being the Kleenex of spas."
Rather than reminding people that Jacuzzi is a specific brand and not a generic term, Sendi said the campaign will focus on the brand recognition Jacuzzi already has.