M/W Wins Project for Mervyn’s

Assigned Creative Behind $10 Million Push
CHICAGO–Dayton Hudson Corp. has awarded Martin/Williams an estimated $10 million branding project to help revive its troubled Mervyn’s Stores chain.
Officials at the Minneapolis shop confirmed the assignment, but declined to elaborate. Company officials could not be reached for comment. Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners in New York was also vying for the creative-only project, according to sources.
M/W has worked on Mervyn’s business for more than a year. The agency’s current campaign for the stores features TV spots in which a woman interrupts nonsensical fashion scenes with a “reality check.”
In one spot, she says, “The iguana’s rented; the clothes are Hillard & Hanson from Mervyn’s. … And this guy? He’s the caterer.” The campaign is tagged, “What style should cost.”
The branding project is “another tier in [Mervyn’s] communication strategy,” sources said, and is not expected to replace the current campaign.
Mervyn’s profits were down more than 20 percent over the first nine months of 1998, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Dayton Hudson spent about $90 million advertising the chain in 1997, and $70 million through October 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Dayton Hudson has no lead agency, but instead parcels out business to a stable of roster shops.
Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners handled Target’s introduction to New York City. Haworth Marketing Communications in Minneapolis handles media buying.