Expectations of Big Holiday Ads Are Anything But

January 7th, 2010


During the Holiday season we can expect many companies to put forth their best attempts at marketing all year. They try to evoke a variety of emotions, from silly and comedic ads to marketing that aims at tugging on the heart strings and everything in between.  This year, a lot of focus was on the difficulty of getting through these hard economic times, and for good reason. After last year’s dismal Holiday season and most peoples aversion to spending a lot of money, companies are spending big bucks on advertising that will pull the crowds they need. As you’d expect, Walmart and Target top the list in a survey for the best Holiday ads. This year, Walmart reclaimed the number one spot from Target, who had held that position for the past 3 years.

Personally, I was not particularly blown away by any of the commercials I’ve seen thus far. I feel that a lot of companies played it safe. With times being as tough as they are, its easy to upset customers or tarnish brand loyalty.  However by avoiding any topics that might upset customers, many commercials were forgettable.  To me this was unfortunate, because watching a truly heart felt Christmas commercial makes me nostalgic about how excited I used to get as a kid.

Although nothing really stood out amongst the holiday hype, it apparently didn’t matter. Many of the bigger retail chains were able to make sales based on brand loyalty. So even though  creative and over-the-top holiday marketing is expected this time of year, it’s not what ultimately kept stores from finishing strong in 2009.

Regardless of this years lack luster ads, I’ve decided to post a couple that I thought were fun (Not all of them are from this year because I had such a hard time finding the few that I thought were good):

Waiting for Santa

Confession of a Bad Girl

Happy Thanksgiving

Holiday Horror


Scion’s Marketing Backfires

July 6th, 2009


A Scion Marketing team was in Denver over the weekend with an original marketing idea. As opposed to the traditional way of car shopping by visiting dealerships, Scion brought their fleet of cars to the streets of downtown Denver.  The Scion Street Team set up camps at various locations allowing people to test drive their cars around the block. In order to lure more pedestrians to drive their cars, they offered gift certificates to the various store fronts that allowed them to set up camp out front of their locations. These locations included: City, O’ City, Tokyo Joe’s and Wax Trax.

Although this may seem like a unique concept, many of the people taking part in this event had no interest what so ever in any of the Scion vehicles. People were asked to test drive one of their cars and then fill out a survey on their perception of the Scion’s xD, xB, and tC, in exchange for a free gift certificate. People hastily filled out the surveys, not taking them seriously, just to get their “free money”. In other words, the businesses that participated seemed to be reaping the benefits of Scion’s advertising attempt.

Many of the street team members were fairly in tune with the fact the people had no real interest in their cars. So they allowed people to skip the test drive, incompletely fill out the survey and get them on their merry way. Scion also hired professional drivers to accompany the few people that actually took advantage of the test drive, who seemed especially unenthusiastic “baby sitting” these drivers.

To me, Scion’s plan completely failed. I believe I would be hard pressed to find anyone who felt differently about the cars after having driven them. City, O’ City, Tokyo Joe’s and Wax Trax definitely experienced a surplus of business from the over-the-top marketing campaign. It seemed all parties that participated in this event benefited, except for Scion.

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