WARD'S REPOSITIONING EFFORT TOUTS NEW LINES: $10 MIL CAMPAIGN SEEKS TO SHOW RETAILER FINALLY HAS CLEAR VISION

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Montgomery Ward & Co., making what may be its last attempt at financial recovery, launches a $10 million repositioning effort Sept. 8 tagged "Changing everything to change your mind."

The campaign, from DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, consists of six 30-second spots filmed by Academy Award-winning documentary director Barbara Kopple.

In each spot, shot in San Francisco, passersby were shown a line of various Ward's products, from women's, men's, juniors and young men's apparel to furniture and soft home furnishings. Many respondents said they thought the products came from The Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch or Macy's.

The work captures the reactions of those who stopped by booths set up in Golden Gate Park, the Pier 39 festival marketplace and other city attractions.

80% OF APPAREL NEW

The effort is intended to highlight Ward's latest offerings, produced by a new design team. About 85% of the apparel in the store is new, said Rob Claxton, senior VP-advertising and marketing.

Ward's is telling the consumer "we understand your perception of Ward's," Mr. Claxton said. "But now we finally do have a very clear vision and a strategic plan."

Ward's will continue to target a female customer, age 30 to 55, with $42,000 average income.

In addition, Ward's has refurbished its 291 U.S. stores.

This week, Ward's also will hold grand openings for three new prototype stores, designed around a circular floor plan, in Baltimore, Chicago and Las Vegas.

The ad campaign, which will run until just before Thanksgiving, is scheduled for spot and cable in 114 markets, ranging from Chicago to Phoenix. The new tagline also will be included in a major direct marketing effort and may be featured in radio spots.

Ward's, which filed for bankruptcy protection a year ago, has promised creditors it would turn a profit by the fourth quarter.

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