Ingalls Advertising has reasserted itself as one of the region's premier retail agencies, adding Price Chopper Supermarkets to its roster and unveiling a newspaper and radio effort for A.J. Wright stores, a unit of client TJX Cos.
Price Chopper selected the Boston shop for creative duties after a review of undisclosed agencies. Murray Skurnik Advertising, New York, had handled the creative assignment and remains with the Schenectady, N.Y.-based client on an undefined "consulting basis," said Joanne Gage, vice president of consumer and marketing services at Price Chopper. Murray Skurnik had overseen the creative portion of the account for more than 20 years at two previous agencies and for the past three years at his own shop, but will not work with Ingalls, Gage said.
Billings were not disclosed. The client spent $2.5 million on ads last year and about $1.5 million through the first half of 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The decision to hire Ingalls was based largely on its ability to "understand the deadlines we work under in retail," Gage said. Price Chopper will work with Ingalls' advertising unit, though it may in the future make use of the shop's other divisions, she added.
A branding campaign set to break on television by Thanksgiving will downplay the pricing message and emphasize the calibre of food available at the 103 Price Chopper stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New York and Pennsylvania, said Ingalls president Steve Connelly. The client's previous tagline, "We save you more," will be changed, he said.
For A.J. Wright, a chain of off-price clothing stores positioned for the Wal-Mart and Sears shopper, Ingalls has fashioned a campaign that parodies traditional retail advertising using the tagline, "Who needs a sale?" One ad, which trumpets A.J. Wright's everyday low prices, reads: "We'll hurl ourselves off a cliff before we have a one-day sale."
The campaign supports this week's launch of A.J. Wright stores in Somerville, Malden and Brockton, Mass.