Good Guys Plans Heavy Holiday Spend

LOS ANGELES Two in a campaign of four 30-second television spots for the Good Guys broke Wednesday in four Western states. The consumer electronics retail chain said it would spend $10-15 million in the next few months and more than $42 million next year.

All four spots feature clinically white-clad “good guy” employees who suddenly materialize to listless customers in a living room (“Football”), bedroom (“Scary Movie”), station wagon (“Road Trip”) and by the Christmas tree (“Gift Exchange”) to vivify their lives with new video, car audio and other consumer electronics. Created by the Woo Agency, Culver City, Calif., the ads emphasize the stores’ delivery, custom installations and expert sales staff. All spots end with the enlivened customers asking, “Who were those guys?” to which the voiceover announcer answers with the tag, “Good guys: We’re here to help.” “Road Trip” launches Nov. 1, and “Gift Exchange” breaks closer to Christmas.

“Our smaller markets have sometimes felt like orphan children because they don’t get the good stuff, i.e., television [ads],” said Mary Doan, vice president of marketing and advertising at Good Guys, Alameda, Calif., about the chain’s 71 stores in California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada. “These spots will run in all our markets.”

Previously, Woo had primarily handled radio and print campaigns for the client. Aegis Group’s Carat, Los Angeles, will buy television and outdoor. Woo will populate billboards with actual “good guy” employees of local stores. Print will also feature local sports heroes and popular musicians in regional editions of magazines and newspapers.

Woo vice president David Abehsera said locating the good guys in homes rather than retail settings emphasizes the client’s assessment of customers’ personal needs. “Good Guys’ past advertising almost forgot what they are about,” Abehsera said. “Other stores are oriented to traffic, to people walking in, buying a cheap component and walking out. We wanted to portray the team as friendly local experts who sell entire high-end systems to people, and help you set it up right.”

The retailer is currently in a “quiet period,” awaiting finalization of its purchase by CompUSA. Regarding the deal’s effect on its agency relation, Doan said, “Anything is possible. It looks now as if we will remain two separate entities, but with an older, bigger brother to fight all the bullies on the block.”

Abehsera said Woo is challenged by an unusual relationship the client has to a separate company that controls Good Guys’ Web-marketing rights. Contractually, all advertising must reference the Web site. “It’s a high-end chain that seems to have a bargain basement Web site. So when we reference the URL, it’s always to suggest using the site for local store locations,” he said.