Hoover Co. is targeting brides for summer 1997 sales, in its largest ever bridal advertising campaign. Hoover's marketing strategy is based on the belief that a young customer base will remain loyal to the company. According to the company's own study, 43.9% of vacuum cleaner customers in 1996 had previously bought Hoover products. Hoover Co. pours from $15 million to $20 million into national television advertising. New ads designed to appeal to brides will offer contests with honeymoon destination prizes.
The Hoover Co. is launching its largest bridal advertising program this summer with ads slated to appear in six of the leading bridal magazines.
The program, aimed at reaching first-time vacuum cleaner purchasers, will utilize two different ads in Bride's, Modern Bride, Bridal Guide, Elegant Bride, For The Bride and Martha Stewart Wedding.
"Right now most of our advertising is targeting male and female adults," said Bob Wilson, director of national advertising. "The beauty of this program is that it targets someone who is generally younger at a time when they are likely making their first vacuum cleaner purchase." See related story, right.
He noted that Hoover's goal is to get its units in the hands of first-time buyers and, banking on the company's high level of consumer satisfaction, translate that first sale into a lifetime affinity for Hoover floor care pro- ducts.
"From our standpoint, we believe that if we get them early, we will keep them," said Wilson.
For example, according to statistics that the company keeps on consumer pur- chasing, 43.9 percent of consumers who purchased a Hoover vacuum cleaner in 1996 had been previous Hoover owners.
While declining to provide specific dollar figures on the advertising campaign, Wilson noted that the new bridal-specific ads represent, "an incremental increase," over the company's existing ad spending. According to industry estimates, Hoover spends between $15 million and $20 million annually on national television advertising. The new bridal program will be focused exclusively on consumer print media.
The company has also for the last three years been a sponsor of Major League Baseball telecasts, running advertising during telecasts of several major league teams, as well as utilizing in-stadium signage to promote its brand.
The new bridal ad program, which encompasses a variety of promotions, sweep- stakes and giveaways, is aimed at encouraging brides to include Hoover vacs among their registry selections.
One of the ads, which shows a bride using a Dimension upright, uses the head- line, "Extremely low divorce rate," followed by body copy that reads, "More people are happily married to Hoover vacuum cleaners than any other. Register for yours today."
The company is also working to educate bridal directors and retail sales people to support the program, although no specific incentives to retail per- sonnel are being employed.
"It's been our experience that more and more retailers are forbidding their employees to take advantage of those kinds of incentives," said Wilson.
Instead, Hoover is focusing its efforts on driving consumer action through specific promotions and giveaways. For example, in Elegant Bride magazine Hoover will offer winners company products and honeymoon destination prizes. In Bridal Guide, Hoover is sponsoring the Bride of the Year contest.
Also a multi-page Hoover advertisement will be included in a wedding guide sent to customers who purchase engagement rings in certain chains of jewelry stores.
While the company has not booked consumer advertising for its bridal effort beyond the end of 1997, Wilson noted that the company expects to continue the program as part of its ongoing advertising programs.