By  on June 10, 1994

NEW YORK -- For those who may not know what Company is all about, Ellen Tracy has a few words to say.

Ellen Tracy will spend 40 percent of its $4 million to $5 million ad budget this fall for a campaign explaining the 2 1/2 year old Company division.

It reads: "Company is the relaxed side of Ellen Tracy....You wouldn't wear Company to a coronation, a White House wedding or your Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Company is for the other times. Company is for most of the time."

The multi-page ads were shot by Raymond Meier and feature model Debbie Deitering. A set, simulating the Maine coastline, was designed at a New York studio. The ads carry the tag line -- begun last year -- "Bring Your Own Attitude."

"The challenge is to communicate the distinction between the Collection and Company divisions," said Donald Ziccardi, president and chief executive officer of Ziccardi Partners Inc., Ellen Tracy's ad agency. The fall budget is even compared with a year ago.

"It's taken a while for people to understand what Company is about," he said. To get the message across, Ziccardi said there were certain parameters, namely color and an informative, but humorous approach.

The Collection ads, on the other hand, take a more enigmatic tack. Continuing with last season's theme, "What Should I Wear Tonight?" the black-and-white campaign combines product and image.

The ads feature two women in unexpected places. One depicts India Hicks and Tereza Maxova in evening dresses on a raft and houseboat. The ads were photographed by Rodney Smith.

"We knew we wanted to continue the direction [of the previous campaign], but needed to freshen it up," said Ziccardi. "We didn't want to lose the equity of 'What Should I Wear?' begun last fall."

"I liked the surreal quality of putting these fabulous clothes in an offbeat situation. You need to add some intrigue to make people stop," said Linda Allard, director of design for Ellen Tracy and Company.

The collection ads will break in W in August and will appear later in Vanity Fair, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Mirabella, Town and Country and Architectural Digest. The Company ads are slated to run in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.In addition to magazines, the Ellen Tracy campaign will include a direct mail program for Company using the Conde Nast mailing lists; a date book with the "What Shall I Wear?" theme as a gift-with-purchase for the Collection, and billboards for both lines.

"In today's tough environment, we have to become more creative in the way we spend our money," said Ziccardi.

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