Aaron's Ramps Up Store Redesign, New Ads

Lease-to-own home goods retailer Aaron's is touting its payment options for poor-credit customers with an ad campaign that launched this week. The Atlanta-based retailer says it is also redesigning its stores and online sales channel.  

The humorous effort, “Own the Life You Want” by 22Squared, uses 30-second spots to explain that Aaron’s lease ownership makes the deal possible, "so you can own the life you want.” 

The spots have three fictional characters -- Bobby Bradley, Charmony and Emilio Molinos -- intended to be exaggerated avatars of the good life who started with purchases at Aaron’s. One of the ads features a real person, NASCAR racer Brian Vickers, who drives the Aaron's No. 55 Toyota Camry. 

Said Andrea Freeman, VP of marketing, in a statement: “The campaign captures the spirit of the American Dream for success, and does so with an optimistic and humorous approach.”

The company cites the Association of Progressive Rental Organization’s data that three-quarters of rent-to-own customers return their products within four months because of financial imbroglios. Aaron’s says half of its customers keep their purchases. The company says its difference -- a central campaign theme -- is that its customer service is centered on helping lessees keep what they've acquired from the store. 

The company says its new store design puts furniture together in "room settings," à la Ikea and other retailers whose in-store arrangements are intended to give an in situ presentation. Approximately 100 stores will feature the new design by the fall in Atlanta, San Antonio, Texas, Philadelphia, Tampa, Fla., and Columbus, Ohio, per the company.

The digital changes include a new Web site and a focus on mobile, wherein shoppers will get price quotes, reviews and product ratings, rich content, visuals and merchandising. The company says it is also launching local-tier initiatives around online search and social meant to connect consumers to local stores.

There is also a dedicated Hispanic push in five markets, where Aaron’s is running two of the three new brand ads in Spanish, and launched a Spanish-language site.

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