Janovic stirs up brand awareness

Janovic Paint and Decorating Centers has 11 stores serving Manhattan and was bought by Benjamin Moore in 1999. Rich Wilczynski, director of marketing at Janovic, explains that store traffic declined during the past 10 years and discount retailers impacted brand awareness.

Janovic Paint and Decorating Centers has 11 stores serving Manhattan and was bought by Benjamin Moore in 1999. Rich Wilczynski, director of marketing at Janovic, explains that store traffic declined during the past 10 years and discount retailers impacted brand awareness.

The company tasked CKPR to create an integrated campaign to reinvigorate brand awareness, drive store traffic, engage the community, and increase sales.

“We wanted to do something different that dovetailed with the culture of... New York City,” Wilczynski says.

Strategy
Given Janovic's focus on interior spaces and Manhattan's art culture, Wilczynski wanted the campaign to have an art focus. So, the team planned five family-friendly events that featured performance art and interactive elements at street fairs and other locations close to the stores.

Janovic brands Benjamin Moore and Hunter Douglas co-sponsored the events and provided their products for giveaways. Other partners included performance artist Brian Olsen; interior designer Doug Wilson; and Free Arts NYC, a nonprofit that provides creative arts programs to low-income, homeless, abused, and neglected children.

Tactics
Street teams from Young Executive Spirit (a partner of CKPR) dressed as painters (pictured) to distribute promotional materials at all events. It included information about a contest, and entries were used to expand the Janovic Color Club database, says Judy Klein, VP at CKPR.

CKPR created and conducted one-day training sessions for Janovic store employees to ensure they could talk about the effort, Klein says.

Also, Janovic's Web site was redesigned to engage consumers with videos and photos from the events.
In addition, Olsen worked directly with 20 children from Free Arts NYC at the June 24 event.

Results
Same store sales increased 1.6% from June to September compared to last year. Wilczynski calls the increase “huge.” The campaign reached an estimated 500,000 consumers. More than 2,300 people entered the contest and the Janovic Color Club membership database quadrupled.

On the day of and the day after each event, Klein says Web site traffic spiked about 300% on average. September had a record 14,658 visits and there were 4,320 site visits in October, which was up compared with months prior to the effort.

An auction of paintings Olsen created at the events raised $3,500, which was donated to Free Arts NYC.

Future
The agency is working on recommendations for promoting Janovic's retail side in New York City for 2009. The team is also exploring ways to help Benjamin Moore in other key markets, including Chicago and Boston.

PRWeek's view
This campaign emphasized and reinvigorated the company's community-based heritage. The team did an outstanding job tying together multifaceted elements and clearly linking them to the business. Moreover, the events actually offered consumers a lot in a fun, creative way.

It was an engaging and easy way to demonstrate Janovic's authentic community commitment, as was the partnership with Free Arts NY, which was a very nice fit here. Continuing community PR programs should go a long way for this company.

PR team: CKPR (New York) and Janovic (Long Island City, NY)
Campaign: Janovic ColorFest
Duration: June-September 2008
Budget: $720,000

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