La-Z-Boy Broadens Its Base

DETROIT-La-Z-Boy Inc. is preparing to break its first national print campaign in three years from agency of record W.B. Doner & Co. in Southfield, Mich.
The Monroe, Mich.-based furniture maker has concentrated on television the last several years as part of its push to reposition itself as a producer of furniture for the whole home, not just the reclining chairs the company is famous for, said Kevin Wixted, La-Z-Boy’s director of advertising and public relations.
The Doner print campaign is the latest phase in the repositioning effort, he said. The executions feature four families and show how a variety of La-Z-Boy furniture pieces fit into their lives. The ads continue the company’s ongoing theme, “We make the rooms that make a home.”
While the company’s name awareness in the U.S. is close to 98 percent, many consumers still associate La-Z-Boy primarily with recliners, Wixted said. The campaign strives to change that perception by showing how couches and other pieces of furniture are used over the course of several years by the four families.
The campaign breaks in the October issues of both women’s and shelter magazines, starting with Better Homes & Gardens and Good Housekeeping, both of which go on sale Sept. 9. The print schedule will run through April and includes about 40 different placements in nine different titles, targeting women ages 25 to 54, Wixted said.
La-Z-Boy spent $37.8 million on advertising in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting, and spent $14.7 million through the first five months of 1997. Wixted said the 1997 total advertising budget should be comparable or slightly higher than last year’s spending.
The company also is providing its 3,500 dealers with a CD-ROM library of retail advertising materials to help them tie their local promotional efforts to the company’s national campaigns. The CD-ROM was created by Multi Ad, a multimedia marketing company in Peoria, Ill.