Navel Maneuvers for Dry Cleaner

A lint-free navel on a washboard stomach is the star of Hangers Cleaners’ new advertising campaign.
Explaining how “the little surprise you find in your belly button . . . is actually the eroded fibers that were once your favorite clothes,” humorous and text-heavy print advertising from Howard, Merrell & Partners touts the chain’s proprietary process, which does not employ the chemicals normally associated with dry cleaning.
“We know dry cleaning is tough to get people to feel especially strongly about,” said Scott Crawford, the Raleigh, N.C., shop’s senior vice president and creative director. “But we thought if we could draw attention with humor, we’d be in a much better position to get them to at least try Hangers. And it gave me a chance to show off my navel in the process.”
Four full-color print ads break later this month in business-oriented magazines like Fortune, Business Week, Money and Entrepreneur.
Black-and-white versions of the work will appear in local newspapers in North Carolina and Nebraska, supporting new franchises in those states. The company, which currently operates 28 stores, plans to open at least 50 more retail outlets by year’s end.
Hangers Cleaners, a unit of Micell Technologies, is headquartered in Raleigh. K