Y&R/Chicago Takes Sears Back in Time

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Sears through the ages.
Yesterday, Y&R/Chicago rolled out a new brand spot for Sears much different from the comic sales promotions the department store has been running since last fall. The spot -- titled "Then and Now" -- features Sears customers from various time periods asking where they can get what they need. As in the sales promos, the questions are answered by the tagline, "Sears. Where else?"

"The feeling is that Sears is a huge brand and it can have many layers of advertising," says Y&R CD Ken Erke. "From the ubiqitous brand spots to the humorous sales promotions."

The technically-challenging :60 was shot in seven days by director Tony Kaye. "We felt the spot was all about faces and voices, and that's what Tony is so good at," says Erke on his choice of directors. Although the spot spans more than a hundred years, it contains no stock footage. Instead, scenes were reconstructed from vintage catalogs in Sears' corporate archives, and shot with cameras appropriate to the time periods.

According to Erke, the tone of the heritage spot doesn't signal a change, but an addition, to Sears' brand message. "The humorous part of the campaign will continue," he says.

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