M&C Saatchi picks up SF Cody ad campaign

SF Cody, the giftware operation launched by Leonard Lewis, founder of the River Island fashion chain, has appointed M&C Saatchi and the agency’s Walker Media associate to handle its first ad initiative.

SF Cody, the giftware operation launched by Leonard Lewis, founder

of the River Island fashion chain, has appointed M&C Saatchi and the

agency’s Walker Media associate to handle its first ad initiative.



A reported budget of pounds 10 million will support an online and

offline campaign for the company, which sells through retail outlets and

via its new website.



The concept aims to fill a gap in the pounds 25 billion market for

indulgent gifts which Lewis claims is fragmented.



The first SF Cody store opened in Manchester in September last year with

others appearing in Bluewater, Brighton, Croydon, Dublin and on the

island of Malta.



Its website, launched in October, offers up to 400 gifts and services as

well as gift-wrapping, anniversary reminders, 24-hour delivery and the

advice of a ’gift consultant’ to guide buyers by asking questions about

recipients’ tastes.



The reclusive Lewis, one of Britain’s richest men, took over the Chelsea

Girl chain from his father 11 years ago. Realising that its offering was

dated, he relaunched it as River Island, which now has sales of more

than pounds 300 million.



He devised the SF Cody concept five years ago while recovering from a

polo accident which left him paralysed from the waist down. It targets

upmarket customers aged between 25 and 45, about 70 per cent of whom are

women.



Lewis said: ’We see a tremendous opportunity to move into the premium

position within the gift market. Our advertising campaign will play an

important part in our strategy.’



Nick Hurrell, the M&C Saatchi joint chief executive, said: ’SF Cody is

full of brilliant solutions to the universal problems of gifting. I

believe that its ’clicks and mortar’ model will be a huge success.’



SF Cody, named after the turn-of-the-century US show- man, Samuel

Franklin Cody, aims to recreate the period in the early 1900s when

wealthy shoppers could buy from stores selling the finest goods from

around the world and shopping was - according to Lewis - like ’going to

the theatre’.



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