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Bradlees Spots From W.B. Doner Revisit Theme

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Humorous TV Campaign Promotes Discount Chain's One-Day Sales
BOSTON--Bradlees has unveiled a television campaign promoting the discount department store chain's one-day sales.
Created by W.B. Doner & Co. in Southfield, Mich., the humorous ads use extreme examples of consumers' money-saving efforts in an attempt to drive traffic to the stores' sales. Four 30-second spots broke last week in Boston; Hartford, Conn.; New York; and Philadelphia.
Ames Department Stores, one of Bradlees' main competitors, has used a similar tactic, encouraging potential customers to take advantage of its one-day sales. Mintz & Hoke, Avon, Conn., is Ames' agency of record and created the "Bargains by the bagful" tagline.
Doner worked for Ames for three years in the early 1990s and devised the company's strategy to promote its sales.
"A one-day sale strategy is a tried-and-true strategy," said Kevin Weinman, Doner's director of retail client services. "It's implementing it effectively that makes the difference."
One Bradlees commercial shows a grinning man gleefully exclaiming that he's found a way to get free room and board for the rest of his life. The camera then pulls back, showing the man sitting in a prison cell.
Another spot opens on a young girl patting a Great Dane wearing a horse's mane and tail. The father whispers that his daughter believes he bought her a real Shetland pony.
In both spots, the Bradlees logo flashes as the voiceover agrees that the scenarios presented are one way to save money, but the best way is a Bradlees one-day sale. The chain, the ads claim, is the place for "Savings on the good stuff."
Media spending was not disclosed. The Braintree, Mass.-based Bradlees has spent more than $5 million on advertising for the first six months of 1998, per Competitive Media Reporting.
Bradlees recently announced plans to emerge from Chapter 11 it sought in U.S. Bankruptcy Count in Boston in 1995. The company operates more than 100 stores in seven Northeastern states concentrated between Boston and Philadelphia.