They’re on our TV sets every day, in increasing volume, with the power to make you laugh, and even cry. And I’m not talking about soap operas, I’m talking about holiday TV commercials. This time of year, retailers up the ante with festive promotions, memorable jingles, and often reunites America with some of our favorite personalities from yesteryear.
The Retail Advertising and Marketing Association’s (RAMA) latest survey revealed the stand-out holiday commercials of the season – with some of American’s top brands showing up in full form.
Most of those polled agreed that Target has come out with some of the best commercials. It has been hard to miss the cheery carolers signing “you, you, you, you, you” in their “Gifts for You, Gifts for Me” commercial. In the clip, two very jolly individuals remind shoppers to check friends, family and themselves off their lists. If you’ve been reading the tea leaves of this holiday season, signs are pointing to a healthy return to gift-giving this year.
Macy’s holiday commercials have also resonated well this year. The iconic department store harnessed the power of “Bieber fever” to capture holiday shoppers’ attention with the “Wink, Nod and Smile” campaign.
Americans also put Old Navy on their favorite list, and I personally couldn’t agree more. Last summer, the brand brought back a few classic 90s characters from 90210 for their back-to-school campaign – a welcome sight for those that have missed Dylan and Brandon. For the holidays, Old Navy has reintroduced America to the Griswold Family. Nothing says Christmas better than the original cast members, reuniting over tree decorations, Johnny Mathis songs and cozy sweaters in the family’s living room. And speaking of classics, Old Navy also brought back two musical dynamos in one holiday commercial: New Kids on the Block’s Jordan Knight and Boyz II Men.
There’s no question that commercials have become one of the hottest pop-culture topics, especially around this time of year and heading in to Super Bowl Sunday.
As we look back to holidays past, retailers were sensitive to the economy and the impact it was having on Americans everywhere. In 2009, holiday commercials were full of emotion. Many companies used their commercials as an opportunity to remind people about the importance of family and friends, including Sears, whose Military Heroes campaign reinforced the importance of giving back to those who sacrifice so much for us every day. During the 2010 and 2011 holiday seasons, comic relief returned, as retailers went for laughs by using celebrities, ugly sweaters and extremely competitive moms to invoke holiday spirit.
Whatever the sentiment, consumers are always tuned in to retailers’ commercials. And according to this year’s survey, 18 percent of Americans said that retailers’ commercials motivated them to shop at that particular company.
What were some of your favorite commercials this holiday season? There were just so many great ones!
What more insight from RAMA? Join the industry’s premier gathering of retail CMOs and advertising and marketing executives at the 2013 RAMA CMO Summit, January 15 in New York City.