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Retailer Returns to Jewelry Focus

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Service Merchandise resurrects a theme from a previous campaign in upcoming work from Lighton Colman.

"America's leading jeweler" returns as the retailer's tagline after a hiatus of nearly four years, replacing the "At your Service Merchandise" jingle. Going back to the older line ties into the Brentwood, Tenn., retailer's plan to reclaim its position as a jewelry authority, agency executives said.

Two 30-second and two 15-second TV spots break regionally May 1, said Liz Brohan, the Chicago shop's partner and account service director. The timing of the new campaign is designed to entice shoppers to buy jewelry gifts for Mother's Day, Brohan said.

One 30-second spot features a diamond consultant at the store boasting about the quality and value found in the retailer's jewelry. The other 30-second spot is a testimonial and carries a more straightforward message and look, the agency said.

"[The campaign] is less about general lifestyle and more authoritative," said Lori Colman, Lighton Colman's president.

The campaign also includes regional radio spots that break at the same time. "As the campaign evolves, additional merchandise will be showcased but with the same tag," Brohan said.

Pushing the retailer as an expert jeweler—it is one of the largest sellers of mass-market jewelry in the country—is the latest of several changes in the company's marketing strategy.

Three years ago, Service Merchandise was working its way out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and focused its efforts on rebuilding its brand. That same year, the retailer replaced its traditional store format, where customers would browse a catalog showroom and check off items on clipboards, with a self-service approach.

The retailer signed up Lighton Colman in 1999 and began to push its higher-end merchandise. Media buying and planning is at Kelly Scott & Madison.

Service Merchandise spent $30 million in advertising last year, per Competitive Media Reporting.