Eisner & Associates Inc. confirmed yesterday that it has won a $4.5 million account to create the first-ever organized advertising campaign for Minolta Corp.'s hundreds of business-equipment dealers nationwide.
The campaign -- which will include print, radio and television -- will give a boost of almost 9 percent boost to Baltimore-based Eisner's annual billings of $52 million and could attract increased national attention to the agency's creative work.
The new Minolta business also more than fills the $2 million void created recently by the loss of Eisner's longtime Jos. A. Bank Clothiers account to in-town rival W. B. Doner & Co.
"This account is national in scope and is a huge opportunity for us," said Steve Eisner, president and chief executive of the advertising agency.
Eisner was chosen because of its advertising work for Alan Elkin, owner of locally based Advance Business Systems and Supply Co., a Minolta copier and fax machine dealer, said Dave Scofield, Minolta's national advertising manager in Ramsey, N.J.
The Alan Elkin spots -- featuring Mr. Elkin as a hero saving clients from business hell by making sure their equipment runs properly -- has won accolades from the local and national advertising industries since they began running several years ago.
The Alan Elkin campaign also has been credited with building Advance Business Systems' business, Mr. Scofield said.
"What is critically important at the dealer level is service," Mr. Eisner said yesterday. "It is the company that delivers the service story the best that is going to do the best. The advertisements need to make the dealer a hero."
Mr. Scofield said Minolta, seeking to "drive home" the concept of service, decided to embark on its first organized advertising campaign for dealers. As a result, Minolta's high-profile name will take a back seat to the dealers profiled in the spots, he said.
The new dealer television commercials will be produced in Minolta's studio in New York later this month and will begin airing in late December.
Minolta has 450 business-equipment dealers. Each dealer has the option of using Eisner's ads, and Minolta said it expects about 100 to sign up.