SEARS BREAKS NEW AD THEME FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL EFFORT: 'GET BACK TO IT,' RETAILER SAYS IN COMMERCIALS

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Sears, Roebuck & Co. this fall shifts away from its "Softer side" campaign for a back-to-school effort intended to solidify its connection with moms.

Three new spots from Y&R Advertising, New York, are tagged "Get back to it." Each spot, running from July 20 through Labor Day, consists of an upbeat musical score with children and teens shown getting back to "it," the work and play of school.

Each spot will promote sales of specific brands-Levi's jeans, Reebok shoes and Sears brands like Canyon River Blues clothing.

RELATIONSHIP WITH MOMS

"We want to reinforce our relationship with moms," said John Costello, senior exec VP-marketing.

As part of the integrated marketing effort, which also includes newspaper ads, mailers and in-store promotions, Sears will back its Kidvantage loyalty effort.

With Kidvantage, a family spending $100 in Sears' children's department receives a 15% discount on their next purchase. Also, Kidvantage offers a wear-out warranty, which guarantees replacement of clothes that wear out before the child outgrows them.

Kidvantage has 6 million members and will be supported by special mailers, print and TV ads, and in-store promotions.

STRONG SEASON EXPECTED

The campaign hits during a back-to-school season that retailers expect to be strong yet very promotional.

Kmart Corp. will feature the launch of a Sesame Street line to anchor its children's department, while its Martha Stewart line will expand with new kitchen linens, window coverings, and Silver Label bed and bath products.

Montgomery Ward & Co., which declared bankruptcy this month, plans a new positioning between department stores and discounters, with an emphasis on fashion, a niche currently the lucrative domain of Kohl's Corp. Ads from new agency DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, are expected as early as September.

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