Ads that jingle your bells

Posted by on December 17, 2009

As Christmas rapidly approaches, we are inundated with advertisements from retail stores touting their wares and trying to come up with clever ideas as to why we should spend our hard-earned money with them.  Do these holiday strategies really work?  You tell me.

According to a Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA) survey, conducted by BIGresearch, Walmart took the top spot in 2009 for the first time for shoppers’ favorite holiday commercial.  (Target has topped the list since the survey’s inaugural year in 2005.) If I had a chance to participate in the survey, I would have chosen the Walmart ad hands-down.

Here’s the scene:  American soldiers in a desert setting with tents in the background when light snowflakes begin to fall. They all look up in awe … “It’s snow!” The camera pulls out for a shot of the desert covered with snow as the flakes continue to fall. Then, it fades into a scene in an American mall where a little boy has just visited with Santa. His mom leans down and says, “So what did you ask for?” The little boy looks up at her and says, “something for Dad.”  The message at the end: “To all our troops and their families, we thank you. Because of you, we are all living better.”

Someone get me a tissue fast! This ad pulls at my heart-strings; it’s patriotic and simply magical and it doesn’t even directly say “shop at Walmart”, but it leaves an impression.

Some of the other top contenders were Target’s not-so-warm-and-fuzzy family dynamic ads, Old Navy’s mannequins, the Gap cheerleaders and Macy’s letters to Santa campaign.  I love a good holiday commercial as much as the next person, but I think Walmart actually made me believe miracles can really happen.  Well done.

So which holiday advertisement jingles your bells, warms your heart or lights up your Christmas tree?  I would love to know.  Happy Holidays!

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