Do Handbags Have Feelings?

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Value City, an off-price chain of department stores, has an interesting Cliff Freeman comedy strategy going on. Themed, "You'll find a reason to get new stuff," we see people deliberately misusing perfectly good things just so they can replace them. In the latest spots, we get scenarios like a guy pulling his shorts up to his chest, then claiming he's taller and he needs new clothes; and a woman "accidentally" beats her hubby about the head with her handbag, because the straps are "too long." Hey, isn't this similar to the bafflingly Grand Prix'd Ikea "Lamp" spot, except these are funny and you need a phony reason to trash something? Former CP+B'er Ari Merkin, who is the writer on both "Lamp" and Value City and at press time was moving on to the CD throne at Fallon/N.Y., says the fact that "Value City is about rationalization" makes all the difference. "When you want something, you'll find ways to convince yourself that you need it. Rather than resort to the typical 'Great brands, low prices' approach, we showed people talking themselves into a trip to Value City."

Client: Value City Agency: Cliff Freeman & Partners CDs: Cliff Freeman, Arthur Bijur ACD/CW: Ari Merkin ACD/AD: Dan Kelleher Agency Producer: Leigh Fuchs Director: Lemoine.Miller/ Editor: Tom Scherma/Cosmo Street Sound Design: Carl Mandelbaum/The ANX