American Standard's challenge is to do a lot with a little. A sec-ondary challenge is to change the perception of the plumbing fixtures marketer from an institutional, commercial manufacturer to a warm and fuzzy one appealing to consumers for their homes.
"The goal was to increase sales and market share," said Gary Uhl, process owner-product marketing for American Standard. "We really had a third goal early on to change and improve the image of American Standard as a consumer products company."
Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, conceived the campaign in 1993 and, like the most successful direct marketing efforts, it's been tweaked and tested over time -- adding elements, changing tactics and incorporating consumer feedback.
"Every year we do an analysis of how well ads pulled, how the response rates were, what ads were working and where ads worked best," Mr. Uhl said.
The first step in the latest version of the campaign is a direct response ad in shelter magazines inviting the reader to contact American Standard for more information. The tagline, "We want you to love your bathroom," is trumpeted from the cover of a brochure mailed to those prospects, introducing them in a humorous, casual tone to American Standard products and inviting them to send in a reply card.
American Standard launched a Web site (www.americanstandard-us.com) last July as another point of contact for interested consumers, and it plans to expand efforts further this year.
"We're going to expand the advertising in 1999," Mr. Uhl said. "It's a good