Harveys tackles rivals with Soul TV initiative

Harveys, the furniture and furnishing retailer, will this week begin a major TV initiative in a bid to close the distance between itself and its big-spending rivals DFS and Courts.

The campaign, which is the first to be produced by Soul since it picked up the business in July, runs under the theme "Keep up with the Jones's at Harveys".

The line will run across every aspect of the retailer's £11 million communications programme, which includes new interiors for its 180 stores across the UK and a new logo.

The aim of the advertising is to differentiate Harveys, ranked third in the furniture sector behind Courts and DFS, by establishing an emotional bond with potential customers.

In a 30-second spot, a Harveys driver knocks at a woman's door to tell her he is delivering a suite of furniture to the people next door.

The woman is bemused by this, telling the delivery man that she's sure her neighbours are at home. The man says he knows they are, but that her neighbours just wanted her to see the arrival of their new furniture.

The commercial, breaking nationally this week, was written by Mike Oughton, art directed by Cameron Short and directed by Steve Reeves at Another Film Company.

Harveys has more than doubled its marketing spend since the arrival of David Rich from Alders in May to become the head of marketing.

However, Harveys' budget is still significantly less than Courts and DFS, which spend £16 million and £60 million respectively.

Bruce Crouch, Soul's creative director, said: "A lot of furniture retail advertising never gets much beyond the level of people dancing around sofas. It shows how ripe for change this sector is."

Soul was awarded the business after a four-way pitch through the AAR, which also involved the incumbent, Manchester's Cheetham Bell JWT. Perception Media is handling media buying for the campaign, which is being led by TV and supported by national and local press. The TV advertising will run around the major soaps such as Coronation Street and The Bill.

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