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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“My work schedule can be hectic, so I snack on nuts, berries, or other non-deadly foods during any downtime.”

—Male, 32, KY

AwesomenessTV and fashion/beauty brands are coming together to make branded series for Gen Z. In the past, AwesomenessTV has worked with numerous brands to produce original content, including CoverGirl and Kohl’s. Now they’re planning a 24-part docu-series with Hollister called “This is Summer,” following teens’ high school journeys—while they’re clad in shoppable Hollister clothing of course. Our own Chief Content Officer explains that Ypulse has “found Gen Z to be fairly open to watching sponsored entertainment,” with 77% of 13-17-year-olds agreeing, "As long as the story is interesting, I don't mind that it is sponsored." (Glossy)

Fullscreen agrees that Gen Z is the generation that’s most receptive to branded content. Their survey found over half of Gen Z doesn’t mind even undisclosed branded content, and significantly more Gen Z teens than Millennials have engaged with social branded content (viewing photos, liking and sharing content and tagging friends) in the past six months. Influencer marketing wins out with the group, with over half of teens preferring influencer content to pre-roll, sponsored posts, banners, and traditional TV commercials. The sweet spot for advertisers may be branded video, especially when influencers are involved. (TubefilterAdweek)

Graduation spending is expected to reach a record $5.6 billion for the Class of 2017. Over half of the graduation gifts given will be cash, followed by greeting cards, gift cards, apparel, and electronic devices. Another trend for the year is more and more peers giving each other gifts, with a 6% lift year over year. Younger consumers will spend an average of $78.42 ,compared to 45-54-year-olds’ $119.84 and 65-and-over’s $112.34, and while greeting cards are also most popular, they’re also almost twice as likely to gift clothing. (ConsumerAffairs)

Instagram has the “most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing,” followed by Snapchat, according to a recent study. The image-centric platforms could “driv[e] feelings of inadequacy and anxiety,” and were rated the most poorly for their impacts on sleep, FOMO, and body image. Out of the top five most popular social media platforms, YouTube was the only one that earned a positive score. The silver lining? Some argue the evaluation is “blaming the medium for the message,” and social media/online communities are also Gen Z and Millennials’ top resource for learning about “mindfulness, meditation, and wellness,” according to Ypulse data. (The Guardian)

Lego is being called the “most powerful brand in the world,” beating out Google, Visa, and Nike. Brand Finance’s latest valuation report shows Lego’s brand value increased 68% over last year, looking at metrics like “familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.” At least some of the lift can be attributed to the successful movie franchise (The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie) and its strategic partnership with Star Wars.

(Business Insider)

“I kind of don't like the commercialization of fandom culture…However, creating licensed products is one way a brand could interact.”

—Male, 24, MO

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