Stone, August, Baker Helps Frank’s Protect Gardening Supplies Turf

By Tanya Gazdik

DETROIT–Frank’s Nursery & Crafts is taking an aggressive new tack in confronting its competition in a new television spot from Stone, August, Baker & Co., Troy, Mich.

The 30-second spot, ‘Solutions,’ breaks April 23 in most of the Midwest after running earlier this month in selected Southern markets. By the end of this month, it will run in the 16 markets nationwide where the garden and crafts chain operates its 262 stores.

Frank’s, a subsidiary of General Host Corp., based in Stamford, Conn., has struggled financially the past two years. Sales have been sluggish, as the retailer has tried to compete against both local chains and mass merchants and home centers like Home Depot.

The spot asserts Frank’s ability to provide higher service levels than competitors. ‘We went through a lot of meetings, and the tendency is to go with what’s worked and to be nice and cozy and all that,’ said Kelly Neill, Stone, August, Baker executive vice president. ‘But the fact of the matter is, (competitors are) chasing after us and we’ve got a strong position to protect. And I think we have a point of difference that’s believable and relevant to the customer.’

Gardeners are shown encountering disappointing consequences as the result of choosing the ‘wrong’ store. The voiceover asks, ‘Did you really think you’d find the secret of a lusher lawn at a lumber store? Or the key to robust roses at a hardware store? It’s Frank’s that has the real solution to every growing problem.’ The tagline ‘Beautiful things begin at Frank’s Nursery & Crafts’ continues.

Neill said it was especially important that the spot be a little more unusual and memorable since the mass merchandisers ‘tend to overwhelm us with advertising weight. We’ve got to make the money work harder.’

Frank’s spent $12.1 million on measured media in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Frank’s focuses its advertising on the spring selling season and the Christmas holidays.

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