Frederick’s First Ads

After 56 years, one of the most recognizable brand names in the U.S. will finally start advertising its wares. Frederick’s of Hollywood has hired Fraser Communications, Santa Monica, Calif., to create a $5 million campaign that begins with a radio and mobile billboard push in key California markets this week.

The client, which now operates 175 stores nationwide, including its flagship unit on Hollywood Blvd., has carved out a reputation as a source for sexy lingerie. But the company has been dwarfed in recent years by its much larger competitor, Victoria’s Secret. Frederick’s filed for bankruptcy protection two years ago and has since closed more than 25 units.

According to principal Renee Fraser, the objective now is to position Frederick’s as a bold alternative to Victoria’s Secret. The ads will introduce the tag, “Fun, flirty, fearless.”

“Victoria’s Secret took the business away from Frederick’s, but our message is, Frederick’s has different appeal,” explained Fraser. “Victoria’s Secret has the image of being sweet and pretty and vulnerable. Frederick’s emboldens women. It’s a way to convey confidence.”

Linda LoRe, who took over two years ago as Frederick’s CEO, says the ads are an element of her comeback strategy. “People think we’re all about crotchless panties,” she said. “Our objective is to let people know who we really are and show the quality of the products.”

Though the shop won the business in June without a review, Fraser said she did not announce it, fearing an other shop would poach her client.