Rent-A-Center Hits Network TV

Rent-A-Center switches from local promotions to a national branding effort with its latest campaign from Brann Forbes.

Thirty- and 15-second spots began airing last week on national network television.

Both ads continue to use Rent-A-Center spokesperson and Fox’s National Football League broadcaster, John Madden.

But unlike previous ads, which focused on specific sales promotions, the new work attempts to create an affinity for the chain by prominently featuring Madden in a humorous role. In one spot, he good-naturedly prevents store clerks from using his signature “Boom!” exclamation.

“As we began running national TV last year, we knew we would reach people who are unfamiliar with Rent-A-Center and the rent-to-own concept,” said Ann Davids, vice president of advertising at Rent-A-Center. “We felt it necessary to [do more than] inform consumers about the products.”

“We wanted to capitalize on [Madden’s] personality and tie that to what was happening in the spots so people can connect to the brand,” said Ken Womack, senior vice president and creative director of Brann Forbes in Dallas.

Advertising expenditures by the Plano, Texas-based client last year amounted to $10-15 million, according to CMR. The budget for the new campaign was not disclosed.

Rent-A-Center will run a total of three national branding and seven promotional spots this year.