Art Van Wonderland

Project Overview:

Art Van Furniture, the Midwest’s No. 1 furniture and mattress retailer, is known for its highly innovative approach to marketing and promotion. Guided by the corporate belief that there is more than one way to sell a sofa, the company was preparing to launch two of the biggest events it had ever held in its then 55-year history in 2013. The vision was to host two over-the-top, must-attend preview parties at its Warren and Grand Rapids, Michigan stores for print, broadcast and online media outlet staffers to introduce Art Van Wonderland, a spectacular retail holiday display, and must-see store attraction.

Art Van Furniture’s director of corporate communications wanted to partner with a well-connected PR firm with outstanding media relationships, and turned to CKC Agency to:

  • Create ambassadors in the media community to build buzz and spread the word about the new, must-see shopping destination, Art Van Wonderland
  • Obtain press coverage at the Art Van Wonderland kickoff media preview parties in both markets

Tactics Implemented:

While the weather was warm and summery, CKC Agency got into the holiday spirit for this project six months prior to both events and strategically:

  • Created comprehensive media lists of the employees at every print, broadcast and online media outlet in the Warren and Grand Rapids coverage areas
  • Oversaw the mailing (both hard copy and email) of the invitations
  • Handled all RSVPs


  • Followed up with invitees and communicated with management at each outlet to encourage and ensure attendance
  • Wrote and distributed press releases and media alerts
  • Designed press kits
  • Handled all publicity before, during and after the events

Results Achieved:

The events were the talk of the town within media circles, and the more than 1,000 attendees included television anchors and reporters, radio personalities, newspaper and magazine editors, writers and photographers, media outlet executives and behind-the-scenes staffers. CKC Agency secured media coverage by every major television station, as well as radio and print outlets, in each market at onsite press events just prior to both parties which included participation by the Governor of Michigan and the Mayor of Detroit and during both gala events (which were held one week apart). Art Van Furniture received substantial local and regional consumer media coverage as well as national exposure in the furniture trades about Art Van Wonderland, garnering hundreds of thousands of dollars in traditional media value. 

CKC Agency established such a strong, synergistic relationship with Art Van Furniture, which describes the firm as “a full service, out-of-the-box creative think tank that can take brands to the next level,” that the regional retailer retained CKC Agency on a year-round basis to help publicize its company news and events in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.