Says Venables Bell co-CD Paul Venables, "In this current retail environment of crash and burn and discount, Mervyn's has instead decided to invest in its brand. It's a bold move." And it's led by two very funny and somehow true to life spots, directed by Joe Public. In one, female shoppers get semi-paralyzed claw hands from holding so many Mervyn's shopping bags as they duck walk through the parking lot. In the other, cars are so overloaded with Mervyn's merchandise, their rear ends are scraping the parking lot asphalt. "The campaign is designed to dimensionalize Mervyn's long-running tagline, 'Big brands, small prices,' " explains Venables. "We realized through primary research that Mervyn's customers aren't worried about saving, they're interested in getting more for their money. We just had to communicate it in a way that would mean something to them, that would give a corporate tagline some honest grounding." Venables says these and two other :30s "are the first pure brand spots for Mervyn's in five or six years." They're backed by a handful of stop-motion animated :15s "that use specific product categories to underscore the same value proposition, while lending a contemporary style and feel to the brand." The nine outdoor ads are suitably wise-guy economical. The campaign is underway in Southern California with plans to roll out to other markets - Mervyn's operates in 14 states - throughout the year.
Client: Mervyn's Agency: Venables Bell & Partners CD/AD: Greg Bell CD/CW: Paul Venables Agency Producer: Craig Allen Director: Joe Public/Headquarters Editor: Bob Frisk/Phoenix Editorial