Store wars: wish list competition

We take a sneak peek at what Future Shop, Zellers, Best Buy and Sears have in store for the holiday season.

’Twas the month before Christmas and all through the land, marketers were stirring, creating holiday promotions for their brands. Here’s a rundown of what some of the big players have wrapped into their holiday advertising offensives this year.

Future Shop
Future Shop wants to set itself up as a number one gift-buying destination this Christmas, so its holiday campaign builds on its fall effort, positioning the brand as a purveyor of technologies that open up a fantastic world of possibilities.
Two TV spots are set to launch Nov. 19, one brand-oriented, the other retail-focused, featuring the same fantasy aesthetic as its back-to-school ad, with animated images springing forth from a flyer, and a wrapped gift, to suggest the exciting worlds that Future Shop’s techy presents open up. They will be followed by a Boxing Week ad.
The effort also includes radio ads, and all TV and radio will be translated into Hindi, Punjabi, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic and French for the Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal markets.
An online component includes interactive holiday contests, while a holiday gift guide will be given out in Cineplex theatres and polybagged with magazines including Maclean’s, Chatelaine and En Route. Cossette developed the creative while Optimum managed PR and Media Experts handled media.

Zellers is taking a heartwarming, yet funny, tone to convince young moms and families that it’s the go-to destination for holiday gifts.
The brand’s holiday campaign, which launched Nov. 8, includes a chuckle-inducing TV spot featuring home décor, toys, fashion and apparel. Traffic-building radio ads focus on shopping timeframes, while customer appreciation, Zellers’ Moonlight Madness events and weekly flyers provide specific pushes.
Three glossy magazine-esque flyers are also being distributed with national daily newspapers in November and December. One covers off home décor, the second holiday giving and the third is a gifting guide, each one illustrating that Zellers has everything for “what’s next” on your holiday shopping list. Toronto-based John St. crafted the creative for the effort, with media handled in house.

Best Buy
Best Buy, Future Shop’s sister brand, is putting out two humorous new spots for the holidays in an evolution of its previous “The best gifts get the best reactions” effort – including a mom presenting her teenage son with the perfect gift, played out via an in-store choreographed dance number. It’s a positioning that plays to the subtle differences between the Future Shop and Best Buy consumer, targeting a more female-skewed, family-oriented customer base that’s a little less comfortable with technology.
The effort gets underway Nov. 12 and also includes a social media component featuring YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Plug-in,
the brand’s online community forum, mobile ads and radio.
Also part of the mix are yellow holiday to-and-from gift tags handed out to gift buyers in-store, and the “Proud Giver Happy Winner Challenge,” an advent calendar-style contest set to kick off Dec. 1, which features daily challenges for the chance to win $15,000 in electronics and a $5,000 donation to a registered Canadian charity of the winner’s choice.

Sears’ holiday effort concentrates on its point of differentiation: different channels for gift purchase. This entails an online component allowing customers to purchase gifts up to the last minute, the iconic Christmas Wish Book catalogue which was sent out directly to customers in August, and traditional in-store collateral.
This year it’s incorporating the image of a snowflake, which is featured across all its POS collateral and communication touchpoints. These include TV developed by BBDO and launching later this month, print by Pi Media of St. Joseph Communications and radio by Pirate Radio, both of which launched Nov. 1. Mediaedge handled media.
Sears’ loyalty program gets a holiday boost via a “Wish and Win” contest launched with the catalogue allowing customers the chance to win $10,000 in Sears Card points, Panasonic 3D TVs or gift cards.
And social media is also in play, including Twitter and a Facebook contest letting customers vote on their favourite Wish Book cover since 1953, as well as a significant CSR element that will see proceeds from various initiatives, like sales of the brand’s 2010 plush charity teddy bear, going to Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.