T.J. Maxx and Marshalls join forces in new spots by GSD&M Idea City that strive to use tongue-in-cheek tactics to communicate a value message.
This marks the first time the discount chains, both units of TJX in Framingham, Mass., have advertised together in a major national campaign.
Commercials posit a "National Spending Intervention" program. The ads star a group of young women who "intervene" to help their friends understand that great deals can be had at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. The push also features a guerrilla marketing tour with a roving billboard that will display the ads in cities like New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta.
Jennifer Warren, account director at GSD&M, said the work strives to convey a "third option" for consumers who don't want to pay top dollar for designer clothes but won't settle for brand knock offs. That option, naturally, is the low-price offering of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls.
Added Marshalls rep Laura McDowell: "Consumers can feel good about their purchases when shopping our stores because they are making smart spending decisions, and they are getting high quality merchandise at amazing savings."
T.J. Maxx is currently reviewing its ad account, mulling five agencies vying to succeed incumbent Mullen, a unit of IPG. GSD&M, already lead shop for Marhsalls for about a year, ranks among the hopefuls.
T.J. Maxx and Marshalls spend about $100 million combined annually on ads, per Nielsen (not including oniine initiatives).
The chains -- reporting as Marmaxx -- said combined 2008 sales were basically flat at $12.4 billion.