Mandee’s Cool Looks Heat Summer Effort

NEW YORK Teen-targeted retailer Mandee will launch an image-driven ad campaign to build awareness for its stores as a source of trendy, affordable apparel.

Agency212 in New York handles creative, which also includes direct mail and point-of-purchase efforts. In-store events and concert sponsorships will focus on up-and-comers such as Atlantic Records’ artist Rob Thomas.

“This is the first time Mandee is being advertised as a brand,” said Tracy Brennan Conte, executive creative director at Agency212. Previous ads focused on specific product in co-op ads with vendors. “Now, Mandee is speaking to consumers with a consistent branding message that is relevant and fashionable.”

Creative features newcomer model Fabiana in Mandee summer and back-to-school merchandise in a “Hot and Cool” theme. One shot shows the long-haired beauty in a Bohemian tunic, dangly earrings and arm bracelets. Copy pairs, “Hot: Bohemian Tunic” with “Cool: $24.”

Ads break in June issues of CosmoGirl and Seventeen and will run through back-to-school. Mandee spent less than $1 million in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The campaign comes as the retailer is expanding beyond strip shopping centers into bigger regional malls. The division of Big M, Totowa, N.J., has stores mostly located throughout the northeastern U.S.

“Our customer is familiar with us because she grew up with us in her neighborhood,” said Patti Boldt, Mandee’s director of advertising and visual merchandising. “Bringing us into the mall makes all the sense in the world. It’s a fairly new place for us and we’re looking into getting into more of them. Now to get the product into the books that she reads adds the closing layer to our marketing strategy.”