New Business Pitch

Former long-time client, John M. Smyth’s Homemakers, is now under new ownership and sought the consultation of Shirley once again for the development of a new television campaign. Armed with a strategic plan and four solid concepts for broadcast through in-store merchandising, Feldmann’s Flicks made the short list and hopes to win back the annual retail account which is currently being handled by their corporate agency.


1997 Highlights—Commercials

After Homemakers’ ad agency of five months closed its doors, parent company Levitz Furniture returned to Feldmann’s Flicks during the hectic transition between agencies. With media time purchased, and nothing to run, Feldmann’s Flicks redesigned its previously successful "Time Flies" television campaign in less than one week... from creative to on-air. Homemakers was thrilled when the spot generated better results than they’d seen in months!


"Not low priced commercials, but good commercials at low prices!"

How many of you can sing the John M. Smyth’s Homemakers jingle without a moment’s thought? Well, imagine producing over twenty five :30 television spots and more than thirty :60 radio spots to date this year. It’s a good thing the tune is timeless because I’m humming it in my sleep!

Following in Paul Robinson’s footsteps hasn’t been an easy feat. From Shelley Long to Susie Keller, the friendly and likable spokeswoman who "talks up" to her customers has created quite a niche for Homemakers. Maintaining the stature that Paul, the Smyth family and Herb Laufman worked over three decades to achieve has certainly been a challenge. But not one ventured alone.

Film cel animation mixed with live-action
First, and foremost, it’s not every day that your client offers their trust, support and encouragement to allow creative flexibility. The objective was to appeal to a younger, hipper demographic while maintaining the same memorable and positive image which has separated Homemakers from its competitors. The catch was to do it and still keep costs low.

Our new writing team, Jim Ardito and Rich Goodman, rose to this challenge with flying colors. It’s not easy to be creative, classy, cost effective and sell furniture -- all in :60 or less. Perhaps you’ve seen our cell-animated "Wall to Wall" spot created by StarToons and voiced by Tom Test & Spider Saloff through Shirley Hamilton Talent. Or maybe you’ve heard our customers "Whistling and Marching" to our new Homemakers patriotic theme music produced by Steve Rashid of Woodside Avenue Music.

Along with a fresh approach, consistency was the key. Not a problem when Rich Chojnowski of Audio Recording Unlimited engineers all of our radio spots and TV audio revisions. Even with twenty years of editing for Paul, he still gets excited about our spots! Since we’ve been focusing on producing higher quality versus quantity by designing reusable spots, our Director of seven years, Jim Machin of R. duke Productions, and cameraman, Mark Zurawiec, were thrilled to try out a new steadicam concept for "Columbus Day."

Upon Editel’s demise, we packed up our thirty plus boxes of tapes and moved to Post Effects where the creativity of our new editor, Doug Ryan, is complimented by the classy graphic designs of Sandy Weber. Our new "Labor Day" spot has been described as "elegant." Was it the post score by Woodside Ave. Music, or
the flowing graphics and editing pace that moved them?

Our team has accomplished a great deal in only six months -- consistency, quality and cost-effectiveness. Even with fewer media buying dollars, the spots must be memorable because store traffic is up and customers are buying!


A Dedication To Paul Robinson

Producer/Director, Paul Robinson, recently passed away. He was a very dear friend, mentor, father-figure and loyal client to me. Among his accomplishments, he produced the John M. Smyth's Homemakers TV & Radio spots for almost 3 decades, and I had the good fortune of working with and learning from him for the past seven years. I only wish I "inherited" this account because he retired. I know he is standing by my side, and my goal as Homemakers' new Producer is to continue the wonderful legacy he created. Thanks to all of you who have been supportive during this difficult period of sadness and transition.


"New walls hold up Homermaker spots;" Reprint from: Screen Magazine; April 22, 1996.

"Screen's Best of 1995 - Inheriting Homemakers;" Reprint from: Screen Magazine; Dec. 11. 1995