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Looking to continue sales streak, HomeGoods taps Jillian Bell for comedic miniseries

Popular home furnishing chain HomeGoods has debuted a new miniseries that could help the brand both win some some laughs and help it maintain the momentum of strong sales it's seen in recent months. Headlined by the comedic actress Jillian Bell, the show invites consumers to imagine what it would be like to make a home out of, well, a HomeGoods.

Mid-market affordable home decor brand HomeGoods has today unveiled a six-part comedy series that imagines actress and comedian Jillian Bell – best known for her roles in Comedy Central’s Workaholics and over-the-top comedies like 22 Jump Street – as a live-in resident of a standard HomeGoods retail store. The stunt comes after months of Covid-related closures and difficulties that saw the brand’s sales decline.

The new promotional miniseries, ‘Home sweet HomeGoods’, directed and co-written by TV writer and producer John Riggi, debuts today. In the series Jillian Bell, starring as herself, moves into a HomeGoods store and, well, makes herself at home, decorating to her heart’s content and even throwing a housewarming party, all the while engaging with the quirky cast of employees and perturbed customers.

“I’m just a normal woman setting up a normal living room... in her favorite store,” Bell says matter-of-factly in the promo video for the series. “Oh, I don’t work here; I live here,” she beams when asked where to find the bathmats by a pair of unsuspecting customers. “Are we on a prank show?” one retorts.

The series unfolds in a sequence of comical events, from a brawl over a blue velvet couch between Bell and a customer to an intervention staged by employees, friends and family who suggest that Bell should consider moving out.

A spokesperson from McCann New York, the creative agency behind the campaign, tells The Drum that Bell was the right fit for the campaign because she’s not only a writer, actress and comedian, but “an all-around funny person” and “a fan and regular HomeGoods shopper.”

The series is the brand’s first foray into entertainment-focused episodic marketing. With the show, HomeGoods hopes to differentiate its brand in the crowded and highly competitive home furnishings category, which in 2019 was valued at more than $616bn, and could top $838bn by 2027. As it stands, the category is dominated by the likes of Ikea, Ashley Furniture Industries and others.

The brand’s new marketing efforts could also help it maintain the sales momentum it's gained in the wake of a wave of store closures due to the pandemic. First quarter sales of the 2022 fiscal year reached $2,142m, a 40% spike compared to the $1,397m in earned in the same period during the 2020 fiscal year. The new campaign could help the brand further capitalize on the moment of growth.

Now, HomeGoods says it’s “harnessing its brand love and unique positioning in the market to celebrate what its competitors can’t beat: a one-of-a-kind shopping experience and the unmatched thrill it delivers,” per the spokesperson.

The ‘Home sweet HomeGoods’ series is part of the larger ‘Go finding’ campaign launched three years ago. The campaign is intended to get audiences excited about the excitement of finding the perfect product or a deal too good to be true. “HomeGoods isn’t just about the things you find, but the feeling of finding them, just like Jillian Bell does in the series,” the agency spokesperson says.

Written by John Riggi in conjunction with Jillian Bell, Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley, the content series was ideated by creative agency McCann New York and produced by Merman. “[The miniseries is] a literal, and hilarious, demonstration of all the reasons why HomeGoods is the store people are so obsessed with... and why some have actually dreamed about moving in,” the spokesperson tells The Drum.

The six-part online series debuts today on the brand’s Instagram and YouTube channels, with additional social promotion by Bell. It will be further activated with a range of social, digital, PR, email and in-store initiatives.

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