Fortunoff Ups TV Buys in Holiday Push

NEW YORK Fortunoff wants consumers to know it’s still “The source,” and has increased its holiday TV advertising budget to communicate the message.

The new spots, which break today, are not Fortunoff’s first TV foray, but CMO Bernie Sensale said the effort represents the company’s largest commitment by far.

“We’ve increased our TV advertising fourfold. This is a significant addition to our marketing campaigns in terms of media mix,” Sensale said. Fortunoff spent $7 million in U.S. media in 2006, and $3 million through August of this year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Fortunoff’s new holiday campaign is a departure from its previous ad efforts. The spots communicate the client’s strengths—breadth of assortment and quality service—through stories rather than product promotions.

“We wanted to find a new way to communicate the brand’s equities,” said Sensale. “We don’t have the ad spend of the national retail chains, so we tried to offer differentiation through humor and consumers’ emotional attachment to the brand,” he said.

The two 30-second spots, via Toy, New York, focus on Fortunoff’s home and jewelry businesses, aimed at women and men, respectively.

The home spot, “Holiday Spirit,” which is designed to show that Fortunoff is a destination for all of consumers’ holiday needs, shows shoppers browsing the store and speaking the lyrics to “Let It Snow.” The other spot, “The Gift,” is intended for men who never know what to buy their loved ones. The spot features a man who apparently has not done well with gift giving in the past.

Although Fortunoff has upped its TV spend, Sensale said the company is not abandoning its core newspaper advertising. “We still spend more on newspaper insert ads than any other medium, but with less than half the population reading newspapers today, we needed to reach our target audience in other ways,” he said.