Arnold Positions RadioShack As Hip

BOSTON Havas’ Arnold in June will launch a national campaign designed to reposition its new client RadioShack as a hip, customer-focused retailer that can help consumers make smart buying decisions, sources said.

The ads will break in time for the Father’s Day sales rush and will eschew traditional traffic-building approaches (such as price appeals) in order to push name and image first, sources said.

The campaign will likely combine elements such as leading-edge music (a hallmark of Arnold’s Volkswagen ads) with a strong emphasis on customer service. RadioShack will seek to carve out a niche as a hip, helpful alternative with locations in virtually every neighborhood in America, sources said. Arnold pitched new taglines, but a decision has not been made on whether the company will keep its current tag, “You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.” Sources said the multimedia campaign, which will have a strong television component, will likely include some celebrities.

“We have awareness; our problem is relevancy,” said Don Carroll, chief marketing and brand officer at the Fort Worth, Texas-based client. He declined to give details about the upcoming campaign.

The Boston-based agency last week prevailed in a review to win creative chores on the $250 million RadioShack business; the work had been handled by in-house shop Circle R, which will now be disbanded. (IPG’s Carmichael Lynch and Deutsch/LA and Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day were finalists.)

With more than 2,300 stores and mall kiosks, RadioShack ranks as the No. 3 electronics chain in North America, trailing Best Buy and Circuit City. RadioShack becomes the agency’s No. 2 client in terms of billings, trailing VW, which is roughly twice its size.