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Alley Makes Musical Debut for Pier 1

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LOS ANGELES Kirstie Alley brings a musical flair to her third holiday campaign for Pier 1 Imports.

In a 30-second television spot from Campbell-Ewald in Santa Monica, Calif., and Warren, Mich., which breaks today, Alley is seen in a Pier 1 store after-hours, singing a revised version of Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby."

As Alley turns on a light on a mantel, then sits on a blue loveseat inside the store under a faux fur blanket, she sings, "Santa baby, slip a table under the tree, for me. Been an awful good girl, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight. Santa baby, a comfy little sofa for two, light blue. I'll wait up for you dear, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight." At the end of the spot, Alley kisses a store worker on the cheek.

The spot is running nationally during programs such as Friends, ER, CSI, Survivor and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, as well as during morning shows and Christmas specials.

The campaign also includes two print ads appearing in publications like Budget Living, Cooking Light, Fitness, InStyle, Marie Claire and Lucky. In one ad, Alley is in a yoga pose, holding a wrapped present. The headline is, "According to the laws of karma, to get good gifts, you have to give good gifts." The ad shows items such as candles, beaded frames, incense, satin slippers and a rocking horse.

"Get in touch with your senses" remains the tagline for the campaign. Spending for the effort could not be determined. The Fort Worth, Texas-based retailer spent $9 million on ads during the last two months of 2002, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

According to Campbell-Ewald executive creative director Debbie Karnowsky, this is the first time Alley has sung in a Pier 1 spot. She said the shop realized Alley had a good singing voice while filming previous Pier 1 spots, because Alley would often sing on the set between takes.

"It seemed charming," said Karnowsky. "There was a sultriness and a whimsy to it."

In addition to Karnowsky, the team that created the spot included Campbell-Ewald copywriter Neville Anderson, who adapted the lyrics for the ad, art director Mike Conboy and associate creative director Keith McLenon, who is based at the shop's Warren office.