• Clint Engel

Havertys ad campaign plays with daily mishaps

Furniture stars as beautiful refuge in a world full of family mishaps

ATLANTA — Havertys furniture takes a supporting role in the retailer’s latest ad campaign that subtly illustrates the beauty and comforts of home and home furnishings in a less than perfect world.

The 124-store Top 100 company brought in Ted Melfi, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter and director of the 2016 film “Hidden Figures,” to direct and develop the stories under the theme: “Havertys Can Make Your Home Look Perfect, Even When Life Isn’t.”

Created by Kansas City-based advertising agency Unbound, the newest humorous spots began airing May 15 for an extended Memorial Day holiday promotion. Each one tells the story of a family mishap — in homes, sharply dressed in Havertys furniture. The people are the stars, but they’re clearly backed up and supported by the furniture.

haverty screen grab

Take the “Knock, Knock” spot, for instance. In it, a man is resting comfortably on leather motion sofa in his living room when the doorbell rings. Too comfortable to get up, he shouts, “Can somebody get that?”

But there are no takers — not his mother working on a jigsaw puzzle; not the son playing video games in the bedroom and claiming to do homework; not the wife, applying a facial in another bedroom and yells back, “It’s Mommy time!”

So the door goes unanswered. The last scene features a $100,000 prize patrol team at the front door getting ready to move on.

Another spot coming later this year features a couple showing off their beautiful and now “smart home” thanks to an Amazon Alexa-like device that accidentally starts reading personal husband-wife texts to a visiting mother-in-law: “When is your mother leaving? I can’t take it another day.”

And then there’s the spot featuring a young boy walking past beautiful bedroom furniture on his way to flushing his mother’s jeweled necklace down the toilet.

“Against the backdrop of somewhat challenging and uncertain times, we sought Ted’s award-winning direction and creativity to highlight an underlying theme of ‘life isn’t perfect but your home can be,’” Havertys President, Chairman and CEO Clarence Smith said in a release.

The campaign resonates, he said, “because it’s grounded in humanity and drives an authentic connection with consumers who ultimately seek comfort at home to escape the outside world, now more than ever.”

Melfi, Havertys and Unbound all “saw eye-to-eye and fell in love with the basic notion that life has its hurdles,” said Dave Lubeck, Unbound’s managing director.

“And while everyone knows this, it’s rare that a brand is actually comfortable with its product not being glamourized but rather simply being part of a family. The furniture in this campaign is an extension of the family, as they sleep, eat, watch television and confront daily battles. It shows the truth behind what it is to be a family and live together and succeeds in highlighting how furniture relates to that.”

Melfi, who also directed and wrote the screenplay for 2014’s “St. Vincent” starring Bill Murray, contended the challenge with this campaign was to take something relatively ordinary and make it memorable.

In the release, he said he had never worked with a campaign and client “so comfortable celebrating the unvarnished truth of real life, rather than seeking celebrity or commercialization. The spots are forward-looking and almost irreverent. They’re relatable because they’re us.”

The campaign, with the tagline, “Life Looks Good” features five 30-second spots, including two that ran this past fall.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

Please feel free to email or call me with all of your retail news and tips, including expansion news, successful merchandising and marketing strategies and anything else you would like to see covered by Furniture/Today.  Contact me directly at cengel@furnituretoday.com or 336-605-1129.

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