Meeeeerrry Marketing!

We are four days away from Black Friday and the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Even though turkeys haven’t yet been carved, most brands have already begun their holiday advertisements in full force. 34% of Millennials ages 14-29 plan to start their shopping on Friday, so the merry marketing makes sense. But in a world flooded with commercials, it takes a lot to stick in consumers' minds during the busiest time of year. For distracted Millennial viewers especially, most holiday marketing flows in one ear and out the other, and a simple commercial probably won’t stick in their minds. But smart brands are thinking outside the green and red wrapped box, putting out campaigns that invite interaction, demand attention, and make holiday marketing something to look forward to. Here are three of the early standouts for the merriest marketing of 2013:

1. Kmart Show Your Joe
We said that an ordinary commercial wouldn’t be enough to make Millennials remember a brand’s holiday efforts…but this commercial isn’t so ordinary. Kmart’s Show Your Joe campaign centers around the retailer’s Joe Boxer offerings, and it rings in the season in a way that has actually managed to spark scandal. In it, a row of guys wearing tuxedo tops and boxer bottoms play “Jingle Bells” by swinging their hips and making music with bells we’re left to assume are attached you know where. The video has currently reached over 13 million views on YouTube with comments ranging from high praise to majorly scandalized. But thanks to its viral status, the spot is being discussed everywhere in the media, increasing Kmart’s holiday exposure exponentially. As Adweek put it, “sometimes it’s just better to be on the naughty list,” or as one male Millennial told us, “People haven’t cared about Kmart this much…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“There are alleys with street art that I've walked out of my way to take pictures of to share on Snapchat/Facebook.”
—Female, 32, IL

Mattel’s new toy franchise Enchantimals is inspired by Instagram and Snapchat filters. The new line of 14 dolls are all half-animal—think the bunny and deer filters—and each “shares a ritual trait with her animal friend.” Their origin and the YouTube series starring the girls are no doubt a part of Mattel’s “five-pillar strategic plan” to be a more digital brand. Appealing to Millennial parents and their kids has been a tough sell for Mattel, but they’re making moves like changing up Barbie’s body type and asking kids to pick the next big toy on TV to keep up with the next generation. (Kidscreen)

Harry Potter fans, raise your butterbeers up, because this franchise and its fandom will never die. Two more books from the Harry Potter universe are hitting shelves this fall—though they aren’t actually written by J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter: A History of Magic and Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic are instead both written by the British Library, to coincide with an exhibition dedicated to celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the first book. The two new works will include “exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive,” to delight serious fans of the series. (USA Today, New York Times)

Restaurants are being designed with Instagrammability in mind. From unicorn foods to neon signs and tile floors with hidden messages, restaurateurs aren’t just tolerating Instagrammers, they’re intentionally acting as “Instagram bait” to earn some free press. And it doesn’t end at Instagrammable design touches. Many restaurants stress having perfect lighting, and one even provides “Instagram packs” at customer request, consisting of “a portable LED light, multi-device charger, clip-on wide-angle lens, tripod, and a selfie stick.” (The Verge, Grub Street)

Some student loan debt is getting “wiped away” in court because of missing paperwork. Students defaulting on their private loans are getting taken to court by aggressive creditors, but as it turns out, many don’t have the required documents to make them pay up. National Collegiate is at the center of many of these trials—one lawyer in Iowa represented 30 cases brought on by them, and 27 were dismissed because of “critical omissions or flaws” in the paperwork. Some Millennials prioritizing paying back debt might just catch a lucky break. (New York Times)

Millennials want older generations to know why they stand by political correctness. While some may despair the overly PC state of the world, many young consumers see political correctness as protection from prejudice, and a show of respect. What some may view as an over-sensitivity epidemic, many Millennials see as “being morally minded.” Ypulse’s PC Police trend tackled this topic, and found half of 13-33-year-olds would describe political correctness as treating others with respect, and 66% agree that political correctness is one way to make culture kinder and more inclusive. (Business Insider)

 “I’m too lazy to exercise on purpose. Too much work…If I can't get it with my dog, my job, or my nightlife, it ain't happening.”
—Female, 23, CA

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