La-Z-Boy Touts Comfort

LOS ANGELES Independent RPA broke its first work for La-Z-Boy yesterday during the second game of Monday Night Football‘s doubleheader on ESPN.

The campaign includes seven 30-second spots, interactive banners and print ads. Comfort is the key selling point stressed across all media, according to Tom Kirk, evp and management account director at the Santa Monica, Calif.-based shop.

In “Angry Man,” a surly guy enters a La-Z-Boy Gallery store only to wind up completely relaxed in one of the recliners. Zoned out, he beckons the salesman to join him and asks if in squinting at the ceiling, the employee also sees the light forming a “pony.”

“Custom Suit” shows a man and his wife asking for a couch that matches the man’s absurd paisley suit. In “Dance,” a post-college-age guy uses aggravating routines to bother his buddy while their wives look on from the sidelines. In “Mr. Fidget,” a man with nervous tics reclines and spaces out to the point where he says to the fly landing on his nose, “Hey, buddy.”

Directed by Erich Joiner of Tool of North America, all spots end with the new tagline, “Comfort. It’s what we do.” In the spots, the tags are presented in picture frames held on customers’ laps.

One print iteration portrays the “Rex” as the “sofa that reclines, which is kind of like the greatest thing in the world.”

The agency strove to help the 80-year-old Monroe, Mich.-based brand overcome a “dated image…the associations were drawn from this heritage: quality, friendly, approachable, but all tied to the recliner, the one chair,” said Kirk.

“This is not your grandfather’s chair,” said agency senior art director Nathan Crow. “The humor will allow us to reconnect to a younger generation. It’s not about style, or even brand.”

Crow and copywriter Eric Helin teamed under svp, cds David Smith and Joe Baratelli on the campaign.

La-Z-Boy spent $70 million overall in 2006 advertising its Gallery stores and overall brand, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, including factory spending on cooperative advertising. RPA’s portion is an estimated $35 million.

RPA won the business from longtime incumbent Doner, Southfield, Mich., following a review that ended in March.