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Retailer Shifts Campaign Focus

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Lighton Colman here shifts Service Merchandise's focus from its stores to its customers in a new campaign for the retailer.

The campaign, which breaks regionally this week during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, continues the approach developed by the agency last year, which touted the retailer's jewelry selection along with its hardline goods, said account director Liz Brohan.

This year, however, the advertising takes a decidedly feminine approach, showing how women incorporate Service Merchandise's products into their daily lives, she said.

"The idea is to make a connection with her in her own environment," she said. "The emphasis has been taken off Service Merchandise and put on her."

The new television spots show women going through their daily lives, while on-screen text makes use of the "@" symbol in phrases such as "@home" and "@play."

The symbol is meant to modernize the Brentwood, Tenn., company's image while playing up the double meaning of the tagline, "At your Service Merchandise," Brohan said.

The new tag replaces, "No place but Service Merchandise," and reflects a greater emphasis on the customer, Brohan said.

"We think it brings their brand image up another level," she said.

The campaign also reflects a revamp of the company's stores and an expansion of its offerings, said Lori Colman, a principal at the agency. That new image is part of the reason the campaign is breaking during the Olympics, she said.

"It gives us that additional high-profile platform on which to launch this campaign," she said.

Service Merchandise awarded its account to Lighton Colman last year as it was emerging from bankruptcy. The retailer's previous agency was Leo Burnett.

Billings for the new campaign were not disclosed. Service Merchandise spent nearly $25 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.