FULLERTON, CALIF. – With the news that HomeBase has put its $15-20-million account into review, creatives’ hopes for retail accounts that provide a showcase for" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" >

Pricing Looms Large Again For HomeBase By Kathy Tyre

FULLERTON, CALIF. – With the news that HomeBase has put its $15-20-million account into review, creatives’ hopes for retail accounts that provide a showcase for

HomeBase was at the forefront of what looked like a transformation in retail advertising about two years ago when it hired The Colby Agency to establish an identity for the newly named home improvement chain. Colby’s animated stick figures and stand-up-comic style voiceover proved a distinctive departure from the price driven ads that dominate the retail category. But new HomeBase management appears more concerned with delivering a hard-edged message to drive sales in a tough marketplace.
HomeBase is looking for a mid-sized or large advertising agency with heavy retail experience, as well as a separate media buying firm, to lead the charge, said Mike Agate, who heads Select Resources International/L.A. and is conducting the review.
‘When your back is against the wall, you need to rely on price ads for better short-term results,’ said Jean Craig, president/executive creative director at kresser/Craig, Santa Monica, Calif.
The deepening recession has increased the emphasis on price-driven advertising messages, agency executives said. Carl’s Jr. recently discovered that fact, and has set aside its brand-building efforts in favor of a message that focuses on its pricing.
Despite its change in advertising plans, HomeBase sales were actually up 16% during first quarter ’93 to $415 million. Income totalled $8.4 million, compared to $7.7 million in first quarter ’92. But the company has said it would like to improve earnings.
At The Colby Agency, the loss of the HomeBase account has so far meant one layoff. The agency will handle creative until year end; HomeBase’s media firm, JLP Media/New York, will continue for the same period.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)