W.B. Doner Crafts Bradlees Ads

BOSTON-After a series of top management changes, Bradlees abruptly shifted the creative portion of its advertising account to W.B. Doner & Co. in Southfield, Mich.
Lotas Minard Patton McIver in New York had handled the estimated $10 million account since last July. KSL Media/Northeast in Wellesley, Mass., handles media duties.
Bradlees, a discount retail chain based in Braintree, Mass., has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since it filed a voluntary petition in June 1995.
Two months ago, the company brought in Mark James as senior vice president of marketing. James had worked with Doner in both of his previous marketing posts at Best Products in Richmond, Va., and 7-Eleven in Dallas.
Bradlees and Lotas had a cordial parting of the ways, James said. “Lotas is a fine agency, but I felt that given Bradlees’ situation and the need to maximize sales this fall, I wanted to rely on an agency I had a relationship with explicitly,” he said.
Doner created a 30-second television spot promoting a one-day sale at Bradlees. “The premise behind this is there are days in your life you want to forget and days you absolutely want to remember, and that’s a Bradlees one-day sale,” said Kevin Weiner, Doner’s executive vice president. “We needed something fresh and needed to keep a sense of urgency to keep people coming in.”
A new series of commercials is currently in development to run this fall, James said.
Notably absent from the commercials is the infamous Mrs. B, a no-nonsense customer used in prior campaigns who was resurrected two years ago in an attempt to boost flagging sales.
“The concepts seem to be working,” according to James.
“Now, if I could just hear the cash register ringing.”