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Domain Appeals to Women on Early-Morning TV

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NEW YORK In its first TV campaign in its 16-year history, upscale furniture retailer Domain hopes to connect with consumers using bold statements such as "I think tennis players should wear white" and "The proper martini has to be made with gin."

The effort, which broke Monday in New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., during telecasts of Today, Good Morning America and The Early Show, features black-and-white footage of actors offering their thoughts. In one of three spots, a blonde woman says, "SUVs are bad for the environment. I do miss ours, though." Another features a middle-aged man divulging, "The marriage was going great until Lauren said the pool table should go" and "Lauren likes to think that she can dress me, so I let her."

Each spot, which targets 35- to 54-year-old women with household incomes above $80,000, concludes with color shots of the retail chain's showroom and a voiceover stating, "Domain has created a store for people just like you and right now, we're making it easier to make our domain, your domain." The tagline: "You've found your place."

"We want our viewer to identify with the people on the screen," said Bob Cox, president of The Cox Group, the 10-year-old New York shop responsible for the campaign. "We're really selling a lifestyle," added Domain founder and CEO Judy George.

Norwood, Mass.-based Domain, which was bought by Aga Foodservice Group of London in March 2002, plans to put nearly $1 million behind the three-month push, George said. "We want to drive more traffic into the stores and dramatically increase our visibility. TV was the only way to do that," said George, who has 30 stores throughout the Northeast, and will be opening six additional locations this year.

The Cox Group landed the ad account, formerly held by Wallwork Curry Sandler in Boston, this summer after Cox wrote a letter to George expressing his interest in helping Domain introduce the legendary Aga range in the U.S. George, instead, tapped The Cox Group to handle the umbrella branding effort.

For the TV spots, Cox drew inspiration from The Domain Book of Intuitive Home Design, a book written by George and Todd Lyon that uses musings such as those in the ads to illustrate four different types of people: visionary, artisan, adventurer and idealist.

Previous marketing efforts concentrated on a monthly direct mailer and newspaper advertising.