Lazy Boy Makes 'Friends' With Hollywood

All about style for recliner brand

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%%STORYIMAGE_RIGHT%% A shift in Lazy Boy brand positioning to an emphasis on style has led the venerable recliner brand straight into the arms of Hollywood.

The repositioning from one of quality and comfort, which began two-and-a-half years ago, has manifested itself most recently in a cause marketing-program benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in conjunction with InStyle magazine. The program leverages the formidable star power of the six cast members of "Friends."

Each cast member designed his or her own version of the Lazy Boy recliner with the designs running as eight consecutive ad pages in the May issue of InStyle on newsstands this week. Each ad, not identifying the specific "Friends" designer, hopes to lead readers to the eBay site online, where an auction will be held in May for people to bid on the chairs.

%%PULLQUOTE_LEFT%% "We aligned ourselves with InStyle because it had a certain cachet and credibility with our target consumers," said Monica Tysell, exec VP, account director at Doner, Southfield, Mich., Lazy Boy's ad agency. "Beyond just buying ad pages in the book, we wanted to work with them on a promotional basis as well."

It has yet been determined if the relationship with the "Friends" cast will continue or whether it will go down as a one-off.

The precursor to the "Friends" tie-in occurred last year when Lazy Boy recruited celebrity designers like Todd Oldham, Nicole Miller and Tommy Hilfiger to design their own recliners, which also were auctioned off for charity.

"We wanted to reach a younger, female, more style-conscious consumer. And we are constantly re-evaluating our media mix in reaching them," said Jennifer Sievertsen, director of brand marketing at Lazy Boy in Monroe, Mich. "We haven't increased total dollars but we've shifted the focus of those dollars from traditional paid media into elements like cause marketing."

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