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Prefab Home Builder Tries TV

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$8 Mil. Effort From Y&R Suggests All You Have to Do Is Dream
DETROIT--Young & Rubicam has created the first-ever consumer campaign for Champion Enterprises, the nation's largest builder of pre-fabricated homes.
The Auburn Hills, Mich., company previously focused its efforts on trade advertising to attract new retailers. Champion will spend about $8 million on the consumer effort with a campaign that includes two 30-second TV spots and newspaper ads, said Don Williams, Champion's chief marketing officer.
The TV spots are airing in 47 markets that "represent the best sales opportunity" for the company, Williams said. Champion's 3,500 retailers sell about 70,000 homes annually, primarily in the Southwest and Northwest.
Targeted are first-time homebuyers whose household income is less than $35,000. The ads highlight a promotion the company is running in March through which customers can buy a 2,000-square-foot, $60,000 house for $2,000 down. The campaign plays up the idea of buying a house as "the realization of the American dream," said Fred Stafford, creative director at Y&R's Dearborn, Mich., office. The spots are set to rock n' roll hits "All I Have to Do Is Dream" by the Everly Brothers and "Dream Baby" by Roy Orbison. The spots feature a slowly rotating cube on which visions of people enjoying different facets of their home are projected, Stafford said.
TV was deemed the best medium for reaching the target demographic, Williams said. Ads will appear on nationally syndicated daytime talk shows, including Sally and The Jerry Springer Show, as well as such shows as World Championship Wrestling, racing and sports programs, The Howard Stern Show and reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard. Retail-oriented print ads will appear in 72 newspapers.
Since the TV spots broke, calls to the company have soared and hits to its Web site have increased from 2,000 to 8,000 per day, Williams said. Judging by its initial success, a second campaign later this year is likely, he said.
A Spanish version of the TV spot breaks this week in the top five Hispanic markets in the Southwest. K