Godfreys launches new ads after blaming previous TV campaign for falling sales

Vacuum cleaner retailer Godfreys has launched an “aggressive” television, print and social media advertising campaign in an attempt to turn the struggling group’s fortunes around.

The new ads mark a return to Godfreys’ signature discount and sale-based approach, after it claimed a deviation from the tried and trusted formula resulted in a drop in sales earlier in the year.

In May, the group issued a statement to the ASX which explained how a 27% like-for-like drop in sales was “largely attributable to changes made to the television advertising campaigns in April and May”.

It explained how the ads launched at that time “were designed to reduce the company’s reliance on the current discount and sale-based approach by focusing more on product features and benefits”, but that “these changes have not resonated with Godfreys’ existing customer base.”

The statement also made reference to “digital channels”, which it wasn’t currently exploring.

“Godfreys will continue to test refinements to the product feature and benefits approach through digital channels to target a broader customer base that the company is currently not attracting.”

The company’s founder, John Johnson, recently took back his company with a 91% controlling stake through his finance company Arcade Finance, just in time for his 100th birthday.

Johnson plans to commence compulsory acquisition of the remaining shares once the offer period has closed on June 27. Arcade Finance ultimately plans to seek to have Godfreys delisted from the ASX and run as a private company.

Despite a slight jump in share price when the takeover bid was announced, the company has since flatlined.

Godfreys Group (GFY) shares over the past year Source: ASX

Johnson’s birthday is next month.

Re-joining Johnson at the top is John Hardy, who was CEO of the company from 1983 to 2010 and again from mid-2016 to 2017.

Johnson was the star of an iconic bowling ball ad from the ’90s, in which he proved the suction abilities of a Black and Decker vacuum by using it to lift a 16lb bowling ball.

Hardy “has not ruled out” the possibility of reviving the famous ad.

The ex-CEO, who has rejoined the company as managing director, said: “Godfreys’ previous advertising campaign was designed to increase the company’s profile. However, it did not reflect in sales. This one is about encouraging people back into our stores.

“We are also increasing our offering with a new stick vac range and a new cleaner that picks up 36% more dust from carpets than the biggest selling bagless cleaner, while a new revolutionary steam cleaner is due to arrive soon.”


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