Pier 1 Appeals to Individuality

Campbell-Ewald Ad-vertising’s first full campaign for Pier 1 Imports focuses on the shopping experience with the tag, “Get in touch with your senses.”

The work for the Fort Worth, Texas-based chain breaks today with TV spots that lack the company’s new spokesperson, actress Kirstie Alley, who is respecting the actor’s strike.

Alley does appear in print ads, including a four-page magazine insert that will run in October issues of various titles. The colorful ad shows women enjoying a range of products offered by Pier 1. Besides the new tagline, the final page includes the copy: “One-of-a-kind stuff. In a one-of-a-kind place. For a one-of-a-kind you.”

Five 15-second TV spots will air in combinations of two. Each will focus on a different sense and the merchandise that appeals to it from Pier 1. That will lead to upcoming promotional spots that will play up how the retailer appeals to a shopper’s “sixth sense,” which is “save,” said Deborah Karnowsky, executive vice president and executive creative director at Campbell-Ewald.

The Warren, Mich., agency won the estimated $80 million account in December following a review. A transitional TV spot appeared in the spring, highlighting the retailer’s annual clearance sale.

For the new campaign, the agency conducted nine months of research, going into the homes of current, past and prospective Pier 1 shoppers and also shopping with them, Karnowsky said. “The people thought of themselves and their homes as a little more individualistic, [with] a little more of a creative bent in their own sense of style, which really fits when you think of Pier 1 because it’s a unique shopping experience with unique merchandise—a lot of one-of-a-kind merchandise,” she said.

Pier 1 Imports is the country’s largest specialty retailer of imported decorative home furnishings, gifts and related items with stores in 48 states, as well as Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan and Mexico.