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The campaign’s challenges: A new company, a new name

JOHN SEELMEYER

A funny thing happened when the creative folks at The Bauserman Group, an advertising agency in Reno, were all set to roll out a campaign introducing McPhails Appliances to builders and interior designers in Reno.

The company decided to change its name.

The name change to Standards of Excellence came after magazine advertising with the McPhails name had been placed.

After a billboard on U.S.

395 near Peckham Lane had been leased.After hundreds of invitations to a grand-opening party had been mailed with the McPhails name and logo.

And things worked out just fine, says Amy Berry, director of account services at The Bauserman Group.

The grand-opening party became an occasion at which the company formally announced the name change to an audience of well over 500 of its primary customers.

The billboard that was supposed to launch McPhails into the market in July instead became a series of teaser ads “The Vikings are coming,” for instance based around the products sold by Standards of Excellence.

And the magazine ads for McPhails? They’re probably collectible.

The name change was part of a longstanding strategy for the California-based company as it moves into new markets.

Berry says the core of the advertising campaign that had been in development since this spring wasn’t impacted much by the name change.

“Nothing about the business itself changed,” she says.”Everything about the company’s vision stayed the same.”

That meant that the creative work a series of testimonial ads from builders and designers who have used McPhails and Standards of Excellence required only a minor touch-up.

Berry got a list of Reno-area customers from the company and started calling one day this summer to see if they’d participate in the ads.Within 30 minutes, she had eight.

The campaign is based around the phrase “I want …” and is intended to address the expectations such as on-time delivery that builders, designers and architects have from an appliance company.

It’s distinctly not a consumer campaign.

“The problem is that when you say ‘appliance,’ it takes you to Sears,” Berry says.

To shake that notion about Standards of Excellence, The Bauserman Group took its creative team on a field trip to the company’s showroom in Sacramento.

The advertising’s tone, too, was important.

“We want to make people aware of us, but we didn’t want to scream and shout,” Berry says.

While it’s too early to tell how successful the campaign will be in building the Standards of Excellence name in northern Nevada, the campaign already has recorded one success.

The company liked The Bauserman Company’s work so much that it hired the company to roll out the name change in other markets.


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