UK La-Z-Boy TV Commercial

Tom Brown, Managing Director of La-Z-Boy UK about thirty years ago, gave me a fantastic opportunity. My company had been providing him with printed marketing materials for several years when he asked me to produce the first UK La-Z-Boy TV commercial. My idea was to have a furniture store owner working late and showing her choosing her favourite recliner for a well-deserved break. She’d been working hard all day and deserved the best. Tom loved the idea even more when I’d found the perfect actress to play the role.

Television looked very different then, there being a vast difference in the way 35mm film looked versus videotape when broadcast over PAL. Videotape made everything look clinical, and the look had become associated with soaps and other low-budget programming. When commercials were shot on film, they had a cinematic look, which set them apart from videotape and gave them an aura of credibility the others didn’t have. I convinced Tom to pay for the difference and found a studio and production company in Manchester to shoot and cut it together. But the story didn’t end there.

Once we had the ‘film in the can’, Tom bought everyone in his national sales team a portable video-8 player to show prospective retailers what was going to be broadcast on Granada TV in two month’s time (during episodes of Coronation Street and late night TV). Two months would give retailers time to order and receive three chairs with a tall point of sale I designed, and to have it all on display in their showrooms in plenty of time to benefit from the broadcasts. The strategy worked perfectly. The revenue generated from new and existing retailers was more than enough to cover the cost of producing the commercial and for the three-week TV campaign. Tom wound up using the commercial on digital television for a year or more after the launch.

It turned out that I had to leave my film career in Hollywood to get my writing and film directing debut in the UK.