Champion Partners With Sears

Home builder Champion Enterprises uses a lovable pooch to sell a partnership with retailer Sears, Roebuck and Co. in its latest advertising effort.

The campaign, from Young & Rubicam, Dearborn, Mich., breaks this week and will run into mid-April. It features a 30- and a 60-second TV spot, print and radio work.

The star of the TV spots is “Champ,” a forlorn Beagle who wistfully dreams of what life would be like if his family had a new home.

In one scene, Champ is relaxing in a Jacuzzi and reaches up to grab a towel with his mouth. In another, he dreams of reclining in the living room in front of an entertainment center. At the end of the spot, his family wakes him to “come and look at your new home.”

In addition to touting the affordability of Champion’s prefabricated homes, the spot introduces an offer in which consumers can receive gift certificates worth $1,500 for Sears merchandise, said Fred Stafford, Y&R executive creative director.

The TV spots will appear on nationally syndicated shows, including Divorce Court, Judge Mathis, Cops, Real TV, Montel Williams and NYPD Blue. Cable buys include FoxFamily, Lifetime, ESPN News, USA, Fx and TNT. A Spanish version of the TV spot will air in the Southwest.

Y&R’s Chicago office shares ad duties for the Hoffman Estates, Ill., retailer with Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago.

Champion’s print campaign includes local newspapers as part of the dealer-driven program. Dealers also can customize the TV spot. Showroom merchandising built around Sears and the home builder’s new Beagle mascot also is planned.

Champion launched an $8 million, consumer-oriented campaign last year. Billings for the new campaign were not disclosed.

Champion’s retailers sell about 53,000 homes annually, primarily in the Southwest and Northwest. Targeted are first-time home buyers whose household income is less than $50,000.