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Vans is the latest iconic brand to choose OMD as its global media partner

The AOR decision was made after a four-month review

April 26, 2023 | By Brian Bonilla

Vans has named OMD as its global media agency of record. The decision was made following a four-month review conducted internally by the footwear brand, which is experiencing sales declines.

Omnicom Group’s OMD will be responsible for media in 10 markets including the U.S., Mexico, Canada, France, Germany, the U.K., China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. The remit will include a mix of traditional and media planning and buying duties. OMD will create a bespoke unit called Team Vans to serve the client, OMD CEO Chrissie Hanson confirmed.

While Vans previously worked with Publicis Groupe’s Starcom, this is the first time the brand has brought on a global media AOR, a Vans spokesman said. Starcom didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Vans plans to spend $94 million in its first year with OMD the spokesman said.

Sales falling

“The decision to consolidate external support and identify one global media agency comes as Vans continues its transformation into a digital-first and consumer-centric brand. It will be through this partnership that we will reinforce authentic and meaningful consumer connections while also driving efficiencies and the ability for localization within key markets,” Carly Gomez, VP, global marketing at Vans said in a statement.

The agency news comes a few weeks after it was reported that Vans CMO Kristin Harrer departed after two years in the position. The brand didn’t immediately respond to questions about a replacement.

Vans, one of VF Corp.’s largest brands, is experiencing pressure. Vans revenue fell 13%, or 9% in constant currency, in the fiscal third quarter. Vans revenue in constant currency was expected to decline in a high-single-digit range for the full year, a steeper drop than the prior forecast of a mid-single-digit drop, VF Corp. reported in February.

Despite what VF Interim President and CEO Benno Dorer called an “increasingly challenging” third quarter, he reaffirmed that VF as a whole was projecting 3% revenue growth for the year.

VF Corp., which also owns brands such as The North Face, Timberland, Supreme and Dickies, spent $840.6 million on advertising and promotion in the fiscal year ended in April 2022. That’s an increase from the $608.1 million spent in 2021 and $756.3 million spent in 2020.

“We are committed to improving execution through a sharpened focus on the biggest consumer opportunities and enhanced operational performance,” Dorer said in a statement in February. “Consistent with this objective, we are shifting resource priorities across the company, including by reducing the dividend, exploring the sale of non-core assets, cutting costs and eliminating non-strategic spend, while enhancing the focus on the consumer through targeted investments.”

‘Off The Wall’

Earlier this month Vans launched a global campaign called “This is Off The Wall,” from Stagwell agency Anomaly. The campaign which is a play on Vans’ “Off The Wall” tagline, featured professional skateboarder Beatrice Domond, rapper Little Simz, DJ Arthur Bray, and poet Salome Agbaroji.

Along with the campaign, Vans introduced a “Knu Skool” sneaker line that is meant to have a more modern take on its ’90s low-top sneakers.

In December, Vans launched a stunt that transformed two vans into 10-foot-tall replicas of its sneakers. The sneaker vehicles then made a trip throughout New York City.

“The Vans mission—to create a world where anyone can be their unique self—has never been more relevant, and it’s a rallying cry that our team leapt to answer, with leading digital, data, and tech capabilities that will ensure we’re always wired to the consumers with whom we’ll grow, and scale new heights for the Vans brand,” OMD’s Hanson said.


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