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Electronics Chain Puts 'Stake in the Ground'

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After relying on catalogs, newspaper inserts, and product-focused radio and TV for the last few years, Good Guys will launch a $10-15 million image campaign from the Woo Agency later this month that touts its expertise at putting together home-entertainment systems.

"As the landscape has become more competitive, we needed to have a stake in the ground and have it not just be about what you buy but why you should shop in our stores," said Mary Doan, vp of marketing and advertising at the Alameda, Calif.-based electronics chain, which operates 71 stores in four Western states.

The campaign will include TV, radio, print, outdoor and local events. The work will be humorous and feature "friendly, local experts who help you with all your home-entertainment needs," said Woo vp David Abehsera. Account director Heidi Roberts added that these "superhero" characters "interact with people in unexpected places." The 20-person shop is also revamping Good Guys' in-store appearance and retraining the sales force.

With $750 million in sales in its last fiscal year, the regional player is dwarfed by national chains such as No. 1 Best Buy (with $21 billion in annual sales) and Circuit City ($10 billion). Good Guys posted a loss of nearly $7 million for its second quarter, with additional competition from online and catalog retailers that include Gateway and Dell, as well as superstores like Wal-Mart.

Woo, a Culver City, Calif., independent, has worked with Good Guys since July 2002. The shop won the image-campaign assignment last month following a review.

The client's approximately $40 million marketing budget will be reallocated, with $10-15 million going to the branding effort, Doan said.

Aegis Group's Carat in Los Angeles will buy TV and outdoor for the campaign.