LAKELAND, Fla. (FNS) -- The Fuller family is leaving Publix Super Markets.
The Fullers are a fictional family that was featured in a series of television ads in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina that Publix stopped running in June. "We were not as satisfied with the television ads as we had hoped to be," said Mark Irby, vice president of marketing and advertising at Publix.
The ads introduced viewers to the Fullers in January and promised to follow them on a yearlong, culinary roadtrip through the South. The complexity of the storyline and character development did not work, Jennifer Bush, spokeswoman for Publix, told SN. Bush declined to comment on published reports that the ads would have taken most of this year's advertising budget.
However, Publix executives do not regret trying the campaign. "We knew this unique communication vehicle was complex and risky, but we don't apologize for taking risks," Bush said.
Instead, Publix is bringing back last year's ads that portray "time shared with family and friends," according to Irby. "We feel comfortable bringing back proven ads developed from the same strategy," he said.
Irby still believes Publix' advertising is successful and claims competitors have been imitating its ad style. "The overall results have been worth the risks, and I am very excited about the next generation of advertising that we are creating," he said.
The campaign web site (www.theroadcalls.com) will feature the end of the Fuller family's journey. Publix was "pleased" with the number of visits to the site, set up because Publix does not have its own web site.