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Spring Flings Debut for Talbots, T.J. Maxx

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BOSTON Two of the region's leading apparel retailers have launched spring campaigns, as both Talbots and T.J. Maxx are airing new TV work.

In Talbots' 30-second "Hotel," a man impatiently waits for his female companion in a sumptuous lobby. After several people emerge from the elevators clad in the store's fashions, his date arrives at the very end. "Be right on time and still ... unexpected," a voiceover says.

The spot is shot in red and golden hues, giving it the look and feel of a romantic foreign film. The cinematic styling represents a departure for the Hingham, Mass.-based client, which has taken a more straightforward, contemporary approach in recent ad efforts. The longtime tag, "It's a classic," is retained in the new commercial. Havas' Arnold, Boston, handles.

T.J. Maxx this week debuts the first of three 30-second spots as part of its spring marketing effort. The humorous ads continue the retailer's "You should go" theme, which launched in 2001. Interpublic Group's Mullen handles the account in its Winston-Salem, N.C., office.

In the first spot, "Meet Mom," a young man brings his girlfriend home but warns it may take his mother a while to warm up to her. But the women soon discover they are both avid T.J. Maxx shoppers. "I got a lamp there for a steal. Wanna see?" Mom asks and tosses the girl's suitcase to her son as the two head arm-in-arm into the house. Voiceover concludes, "Everything for spring, and savings worth talking about."

A second spot, "Brian," breaks next week and will run exclusively on MTV. It depicts the ribbing inflicted on Brian, a young man who works part-time at T.J. Maxx, by his friends until several good-looking young women walk by and thank him for helping him with their purchases.

T.J. Maxx's 2002 ad expenditures exceeded $30 million; Talbots spent $15 million last year, according to CMR.