Cash, King Sing for Sears

By Ellen Rooney Martin

CHICAGO–Sears Automotive Centers signed up some of the music world’s heaviest hitters, including Johnny Cash and B.B. King, for a new national advertising campaign from Ogilvy & Mather here.

Sources said spending on the campaign this year is expected to exceed the $52 million Sears Automotive Centers spent on advertising in 1996, according to numbers from Competitive Media Reporting.

Singers Cash, King and Shawn Colvin sing original lyrics in three of the five new spots that break nationally April 27. The other two spots use Andrew Gold, who sang the theme from the television show Mad About You, and Rob Laufer, who arranged all of the campaign’s music. The campaign’s theme is ‘We Keep You Rolling.’

‘When we were developing the creative for this project, ‘Keep You Rolling’ seemed so responsive to the strategic positioning,’ said Tom Hall, chief executive officer and executive creative director at O&M. ‘All these great artists have interpreted this in different ways.’

Sears is the nation’s largest tire retailer. The campaign’s strategy was to make buying tires appear as painless as possible, according to Hall.

Five televison and five radio spots will run on network and national cable television, syndicated television, national and local radio. The campaign also includes print and outdoor advertising.

The campaign focuses on Sears offering an easier way to buy tires through service, speed, prices and brands offered. Each television spot shows a different way customers can roll in and out of Sears for tires.

In ‘Night,’ Johnny Cash sings about the end of the workday, when it’s ‘time to roll.’ B.B. King sings ‘You’ve got me rolling down the line’ in the ‘Caravan’ spot, which features a string of cars on a road trip. In ‘Convertible,’ a young woman drives a convertible to Shawn Colvin’s lyrics.

The TV spots use live action and computer-generated art to capture a playful feel. Andy Madorsky and Jeff Long were the creative team.

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