Blazer Financial Will Wage ‘Texas War’ With Gleason

Gleason Calise Associates here has landed an account likely to bill “several-million dollars” in what could be the hottest new marketing category in Texas this fall: home equity finance.
Blazer Financial Services, with 41 locations in Texas, selected the agency to front a campaign to sell Blazer’s name and longstanding investment in the Lone Star State to Texans who this week will vote on a referendum allowing home equity lending.
Although subject to change (dependent largely, of course, on whether the referendum passes), the assignment calls for radio, television and print advertising in all major Texas markets by next week. Estimates place such a media reach at a minimum of $3 million annually.
GCA chief executive officer Charlie Calise would not confirm actual billing numbers. “This is a several million dollar account we’re preparing in anticipation of the approval of the referendum,” he said.
Gary Whiting, senior vice president of marketing for the client’s Texas operations, said the work will be the first television advertising done by the 50-year-old Tampa, Fla.-based company anywhere for 25 years. “It’s going to be a war in Texas, and we’ve got to find a way to differentiate ourselves,” Whiting said of the new industry. “We feel there is a lot of pent-up demand for [home equity loans].”
The success of the campaign’s early period could determine much of what the company’s 1998 Texas plans will be, according to Whiting.
GCA was chosen after a brief August review that included three undisclosed shops in Dallas and two in Houston.