BJ’s Promotes Upscale Products

First Work From Partners & Simons Trumps the Unexpected
BOSTON–Haggman has lost the estimated $5-7 million BJ’s Wholesale Club account to Partners & Simons following a review.
Haggman in Manchester, Mass., handled the account for five years. It was invited to pitch along with Partners & Simons and Wallwork Curry Sandler, both Boston, and Grey Advertising in New York.
The win puts Partners & Simons squarely in the retail category. “This is a tremendous opportunity in a space we haven’t been before–the club space and the consumer retail space,” said Walter Mills, principal and director of strategic planning.
Since introducing the wholesale club concept in New England 15 years ago, BJ’s has grown to become a 103-store chain on the East Coast and in Ohio. Last year, it earned $3.5 billion in revenues.
New TV and radio spots that began running in all BJ’s markets to promote holiday shopping were created by Partners & Simons. Media was planned and placed by Pro Media in Natick, Mass.
Partners & Simons’ holiday ads highlight high-end products not usually associated with BJ’s, such as electronics and gourmet foods.
The ads feature actor Andrew Anthony, a former copywriter for BBDO in Canada, who was brought on as a spokesman by Haggman in 1994. Partners & Simons decided to keep the humorous Anthony. “We thought he represented them well,” Mills said.
The agency did choose to change taglines, replacing Haggman’s “Nobody gets it like BJ’s” with “BJ’s Wholesale Club. It’s everything you didn’t expect. All in one place.”
In one of the six new spots, Anthony announces that he has just bought his wife a present at BJ’s. “No, it’s not snow tires,” he says as tires rain down around him. He points out that BJ’s also carries jewelry and china at wholesale prices.
By showing both bulk products, such as gigantic bags of chips, along with items like DVD players, the agency aims to convey the range of BJ’s offerings, Mills said.
Partners & Simons also will create grand opening spots for clubs in new and existing markets. K