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

“I eat [Pizza Hut] least two times per month; it's one of my favorite places to go to eat pizza.”—Male, 35, VA

More Millennials are asking for cash wedding registries, and it’s bad news for stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Williams Sonoma. Increasingly, young couples are asking guests to contribute towards their nest egg, travel, or anything they feel like buying themselves. Companies like Zola and Honeypot have boomed in popularity, offering a personalized platform for their cash registries. However, their success with wedding registries is taking “a key customer acquisition tool” away from home décor stores. (Insider)

The beauty industry is catering to Customization Nation, as more companies crop up to blend unique beauty products for each customer. But can the trend scale? Truly personalized products, like the ones offered by hair care start-up Function of Beauty and makeup company Bite Beauty, take time and resources. But companies that offer base products with just a personalized element or two could be the future of the industry. And big-name brands are getting their feet wet too: Lancôme and CoverGirl have both offered custom-made foundations. (Glossy)

Nordstrom is taking risks to survive retail’s big shifts. Instead of shuttering stores, they’re opening experimental retail locations, revamping their department stores, and making their mark in Manhattan with their first store openings. The long-standing brand also bought ecommerce site HauteLook and the subscription service Trunk Club. So far, their risk-taking hasn’t proved to be a boon to their bottom line—but only time will tell. (WSJ)

Hollister is teaming up with AwesomenessTV to reach Gen Z with a YouTube series. “The Carpe Life” will be a part of a broader campaign, which includes influencer marketingand appeals to young consumers’ love for active, adventurous lifestyles. "The Carpe Life" follows Hollister's first YouTube series, “This is Summer” which “boosted key brand metrics by double digits,” adding on to their overall positive impact on Abercrombie & Fitch’s rising bottom line. (Marketing Dive)

Netflix is switching its strategy, putting less money into “prestige films” for the Post-TV Gen. Instead, they’re churning out more direct-to-video releases. Last year, they bought ten titles at Sundance while this year they had none. While they continue to create original content like the recent The Cloverfield Paradox, they’re betting on less-than-award-worthy films to maintain their hold on Millennial viewers. (The Atlantic)

“Basically if I found out any brand was supporting causes I do not support and actively oppose, I will avoid buying their products.”—Female, 27, CA

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