Strategy

Do You Need To Hire A Large Agency To Create Your National Marketing Campaign?

When national brands need to develop a national branding campaign, they commonly reach out to one of the larger agencies found in Chicago, San Francisco or New York.


It makes sense, right? With so many moving parts and a variety of deliverables in broadcast, radio, in-store point of sale, digital advertising, billboards, and print advertising, many think they need a large agency. However, that can also come with multiple creative teams, lengthy turnaround times, high costs, and many levels of communication. Well, we at Reckon never quite subscribed to this mindset and thankfully Aaron’s Rent to Own agreed.

While there is no hiding that we’re not a big agency, our size and structure has been an essential benefit as we’ve worked with Aaron’s over many years. Our ability to provide high-quality solutions in an industry where requirements can change on a dime, gave them the confidence we could deliver.

At the end of 2020, we worked closely with the Aaron’s marketing team to create a campaign to help them stand out in a space where their competitors promoted themselves by being the lowest cost option with minimal brand differentiation.

The final campaign concept we presented was centered around the legendary Mr. T, who became the leader of the newly coined Aa-team. Mr. T and his team appear in the homes of unsuspecting individuals who desperately need to update their furniture, appliances, or electronics. To help with Aaron’s name recognition, the campaign included key phrases such as “Aawesome Deals”, “Aamazing Prices”, and “Easy Aaprovals” that reinforce the Aaron’s brand in the eyes of the potential customer. This campaign has breathed much needed personality in a space desperate for any kind of emotion.

At the end of the three-month engagement, we handed over a full campaign inclusive of: 
  • Four national broadcast spots with 0:30, 0:15 and 0:06 second versions
  • Terrestrial and digital radio ads
  • Billboard designs
  • Truck wraps
  • Store posters
  • In-store cut-outs of Mr. T and campaign specific signage
  • Direct mailer designs
  • Internal launch video
  • Ongoing partnerships with Aaron’s internal creative team for additional needs

What was our secret sauce?

A team composed only of senior-level creatives with direct access to the decision-makers on the Aaron’s marketing team. It’s not rocket science, but removing the many layers of unnecessary involvement and approvals you find at most larger agencies allows things to proceed more efficiently with the ability to pivot quickly and still meet critical deadlines.

We realize this structure won’t work for every client, but the Aaron’s team made a perfect partner because of the mutual respect for each other’s area of expertise.

A team composed only of senior-level creatives with direct access to the decision-makers on the Aaron’s marketing team. It’s not rocket science, but removing the many layers of unnecessary involvement and approvals you find at most larger agencies allows things to proceed more efficiently with the ability to pivot quickly and still meet critical deadlines.

We realize this structure won’t work for every client, but the Aaron’s team made a perfect partner because of the mutual respect for each other’s area of expertise.


And the creative worked.

As the campaign progressed, we started to get back some favorable data:

Initial Facebook Video Completion Rate

  • Industry Average: 08%.
  • Client goal: 30%
  • Actual Completion Rate: 86%

Consumer Impact
(for first 5 weeks of campaign)

  • Buzz: +4%
  • Favorability of Aaron’s: +4%
  • Value Perception: +7%
  • Purchase Consideration: +6%
  • Price Competitiveness: +6%
  • Intent to Purchase: +4%
  • Actual NAD Lift: +6.5%
  • Actual GAP Written: +4.2%

Product Lift

  • Upholstery: +19%
  • Washer/Dryer: +15%
  • Computers: +9%
  • Mattress: +9%
  • Refrigerator: +9%
  • Television: +9%
  • Bedroom: +8%

Brand Awareness During Campaign

We’re obviously proud of our work, but even more proud that it’s helping Aaron’s reach their goals of increased brand awareness.

“Over the years, Aaron’s has had many relationships with large agencies around the U.S. They did great work, but as one would expect with larger agencies, they can get expensive and communication can be cumbersome with the internal levels you have to navigate to get work completed.

As many brands are experiencing today, you have to be nimble to survive. Because of this, for our most recent campaign, we made a conscious decision to seek out a local, nimble creative team that didn’t specialize in one deliverable but could help us bring our whole marketing campaign to life.

Not only was Reckon able to execute all the moving parts we needed, but they were able to do so ahead of schedule, more cost-efficiently, and without the red tape and hurdles we commonly incurred with our agencies in the past.”

— Tom Carey, CMO of Aaron’s

It’s pretty humbling to hear a client say stuff like that. But, it proves to me we seem to be onto something here at Reckon. 

If you’re interested to see if we may be a good fit for your own branding and marketing needs, please reach out to me at andy@reckonbranding.com.