Stanley Black & Decker Picks KBS to Consolidate Digital Account

Assignment Spans Dozens of Brands and Wide Scope of Work

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Stanley Black & Decker has consolidated its digital advertising account, spanning the corporate brand and about two dozen consumer and business-to-business brands with KBS following a review.

Credit: Stanley Black & Decker

While the account is technically only digital, the MDC Partners shop becomes the primary agency across the company, and includes at least one current project under development for direct-response TV advertising. Spending wasn't disclosed, but Stanley Black & Decker reported $102 million in advertising spending last year, plus another $212 million in co-operative advertising with retailers reported as a reduction of net sales, which totaled $11.2 billion, about half outside the U.S. Another recently named agency, Acronym, will handle search marketing across the company.

Besides Stanley and Black & Decker consumer brands, the account includes the professional Dewalt, Porter Cable, Bostitch and many other brands across, healthcare services, commercial security, pipeline and infrastructure products and a large industrial-supply business that makes the fasteners that hold most cars and phones together.

"We realized these days that we need better talent and more consolidated effort" than the company was getting from multiple agencies handling work across its far-flung business units, said Stanley Black & Decker VP-Corporate Brand Marketing Scott Bannell. Mr. Bannell led a cross-company digital-marketing steering committee of a dozen executives in a review that spanned an initial list of 10 agencies, with two other finalists he declined to name. The committee decision was unanimous, which he said "is something that's pretty rare.

KBS has "great breadth, and we think they're going to help us move to that next level," he said.

"When you're a diversified company with 30 businesses, you've got 30 captains of money," Mr. Bannell added, "though they share the same brands in many cases." But he said KBS would serve as "a central hub" for the company's marketing, which spans 575 marketers, who are increasingly relying on digital marketing.

KBS emphasized its degree of integration that would allow executives to "get perspective on creative, strategy, media and public relations and social," said Matt Powell, co-president and chief information officer of KBS.

The assignment also includes elements of user experience, connected devices, product development and distribution strategies. That relates to Stanley Black & Decker's digital accelerator program based in Atlanta, which aims to incorporate digital technology into products, including apps that work with its tools or using "Internet of Things" technology to create connected job sites that improve safety or prevent theft, Mr. Powell said.