Sooters touts portait packs

In photography as elsewhere, the focus in these recessionary times is on value.That is good news for Sooter's, the Winnipeg-based retail chain which positions itself as the price-point leader in the consumer photography marketplace.Last week, Sooter's, which has about 300 stores...

In photography as elsewhere, the focus in these recessionary times is on value.

That is good news for Sooter’s, the Winnipeg-based retail chain which positions itself as the price-point leader in the consumer photography marketplace.

Last week, Sooter’s, which has about 300 stores primarily in Ontario and Western Canada, moved to reinforce this positioning with a new tv and print campaign promoting three family portrait packages selling at deeply reduced prices.

The campaign, which runs until Nov. 31, features celebrity athlete Robert Marland, who won a gold medal for the Canadian men’s rowing team at the Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona.

Olympics theme

In keeping with the Olympic theme, the three portrait packages are known as the gold, silver and the bronze.

And Sooter’s is donating $5 from the sale of each gold package to yet-to-be-announced organizations in Canadian amateur sport.

In addition to Marland, the tv portion of the ad campaign also features three members of Marland’s family – his father, mother and brother.

Dean Dacko, Sooter’s advertising and marketing manager, says Marland and his family members, who sat for a family portrait, were used to underline the fact that as well as photofinishing, for which it is best known, Sooter’s also offers in-house studio photography.

And much of its studio photography business is in family portraits.

Dacko, who is based in the Mississauga, Ont. offices of Sooter’s, says in the past the company has been seen as ‘a place to drop off film and get high-quality photofinishing.’

But he says Sooter’s ‘would like to be known for our photography studio, and our extensive line of consumer equipment and supplies.’

Sleeping giant

Dacko says ‘we are, to some degree, a sleeping giant, with 300 stores across the country,’ adding ‘we would like to give the consumer a better indication of our stature, our quality and professionalism.’

Sooter’s media buy for the quick-hit campaign is $200,000.

Creative and placement is being handled by Sooter’s in-house agency Bond Advertising.

Dacko says the company will launch its annual Christmas campaign on Dec. 1.

Sooter’s spends $2.5 million annually on national and regional media buys.