Dec 12, 2019
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Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: The Pinch That Stole Christmas

By TO411Daily Columnist Linda Chandler

No matter what the economy has in store for us, one thing is for sure – Christmas is here! It started earlier than usual this year. I think I was still wearing sandals. In the spirit of all concerned: retailers; marketers; advertisers; digital designers; window dressers; in-store marketing; production and post production companies; newspapers; regional magazines; printers; music houses, casting agents; actors; singers; sales associates; merchants; temp staffers; Craft table services, and voice over artists -

The Brief has its fingers crossed for the tally, and here’s a mix of advertising and the culture it speaks to.

The best buy is still television.

According to this report by newobserver.com:

“TiVo addicts aren’t skipping as many TV commercials as conventional wisdom would have you think.

Viewers who have a DVR watch more TV, so they’re exposed to more ads.

In fact, the overall buying habits among households that have digital video recorders, which many believed sounded the death knell for TV commercials because they enable consumers to fast-forward through ads, aren’t any different than other couch potatoes, according to a study co-authored by a Duke University professor.

That’s good news for advertisers trying to reach consumers, as well as for ad agencies seeking cost-effective ways to trumpet clients’ messages.”*

However, The Brief thinks some of these holiday spots trumpet sad tidings.

It was a Zellers commercial that stimulated a low-grade anxiety for Canada’s vast middle class. Here’s the gist of the spot.

Music under. (No Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la’s!).

An exhausted and particularly dour mom and dad have handed off the last of their last minute gifts from Zellers. 

Dad (perplexed by how his life has taken this turn?) takes refuge in one of Santa’s cookies, whilst mom (rocks in pockets, ready to walk into the river like Virgina Woolf), takes nourishment in some of Santa’s milk. 

Leaving her with the iconic (or is it brand placement?) milk moustache. 

Cut to a young, mean-spirited daughter, inexplicably awakened (is depression noisy?), staring down her parents, arms across her chest. (Anyone remember the movie, The Bad Seed?)

Cut to mom, who shoots her daughter the dispossessed look of the “great unwashed”. Not since the dustbowl has a look so vanquished joy. 

Cut to Zellers logo…

Though the commercial succeeds in doing all the heavy lifting for Zellers, what impacts me (like a snowball in my face) is the heaviness of its tone and manner. 

To quote Dolly Parton: “Lord it’s like a hard candy Christmas.” Put this Zellers spot in a time capsule. 

Walmart has a TV commercial that struck similarly, but for different reasons. 

Perhaps it’s the long shot which separates the couple from one another that unnerving. (Does it exemplify the gulf created by financial stresses that divide families these days?)

This commercial goes something like this: 

A young mom and dad are in Christmas preparation mode. 

Music under. (No fa-la-la’s!)

We see Dad. His POV is to his wife (off camera). His expression is one of subdued alarm. He asks whether she’s seen everything on “the list”?

We cut to a long shot of the wife. She smiles sympathetically across the chasm to her husband. Don’t worry, her tone reassures. (As though her oncologist just phoned to say the tests came back fine.) 

Cut to SUPER: Walmart. 

Never have two commercials made holidays look so emotionally wrought. Yet, they capture the values of our times and what’s more – they get it right. 

They speak to the heightened pressures of the season in the second year of the not-so-great depression – which is still stealing cheer. And they speak to parents who struggle to keep up with their kids’ demands.

Canadians are feeling the pinch, and Canadian retailers are not insensate according to a report by CBC.ca.

“Canadian retailers are getting ready for the holiday season with rockbottom prices and major promotional campaigns in hopes that shoppers will open their wallets and seize the opportunity to save.”

The Brief takes a short break for that small moment of irony.

Now back to business.

“Both U.S.-based retailing giant Walmart and Sears Canada have unveiled campaigns centered around lower prices, particularly on bigger ticket items like iPods, LCD televisions, Blu-Ray players and cooking sets.

The price cuts come at a time when Canadians are not exactly in a mood to part with their cash, according to new research from TNS.

The report indicates consumers are expected to tighten their spending habits to the lowest levels in four years, with about one-third of those surveyed expecting to spend less during the holidays than last year.

Those weaker expectations have persisted throughout the industry in recent months, with many retailers complaining that sales have remained stagnant since the startup of holiday shopping weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Walmart said it will cut the prices of more than 18,000 items this month, which it said amounts to 20% more cuts than at the same time last year.

‘We know this has been a tough year for Canadians, so we have made every effort to drop our prices and help Canadians make their dollars go farther this holiday season,” said David Cheesewright, the president and CEO of the retail giant’s Canadian operations.'”*

If you want to cheer up go online.

Hats off to Zellers.com, in contrast to their cousin the TV commercial; it’s in a very festive mood, with a revamped site which includes Christmas-y snow flakes falling over the homepage and a gift section that helps users create a wish list – so they can sort by category, brand or price range.

Zellers.com also includes links to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. The site also features a list of the hottest 10 toys, which visitors can opt to “Like” on Facebook. Advocating to their friends.

eBay is ringing the bells for bloggers.

Bloggers circulate the economy. True, they do that at odd hours of the day and night. Not a bad strategy. Because while you’re hoping to get a human to notice you in an electronics department, they’re bidding on that iPad at eBay.

This is some feedback regarding eBay’s strategy The Brief found on the blog 5minutesformom.com.

“I think what made the whole experience so special for all of us mom bloggers was the common love and appreciation for social media. (from eBay) As Rachael from Today’s Mama said, we were in “Geek Heaven.”

Not only were we among our blogging kindred, and every one of us bloggers knows the relief it is to be with those who understand our bloggy lives. But we were at eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace who has decided to invest their holiday advertising campaign budget (according to the NY Times it is between 15-18 million!), on SOCIAL MEDIA!

eBay gets even more love from its loyal audience of bloggers for hiring the hilarious Samantha Bee, mock journalist from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, to star in eBay’s holiday campaign webisodes. They satirize Christmas morning freakout videos on YouTube.

The Brief wishes to communicate its holiday sentiments with a song. Cue: My Chemical Romance: http://bit.ly/dMIzV8

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don’t care about presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true …
All I want for Christmas
Is you.

—–

Comments and conversation: thebrief@to411.com

Where The Brief shopped for its sources:

http://www.newsobserver.com/no-death-rattle-for-tv-ads.html

*http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2010/11/16/con-christmas-spending.html

*http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2010/11/16/con-christmas-spending.html#ixzz16ads6UKp

Make sure you head over to eBay’s Love to Give site to view all of Samantha Bee’s Unwrap Attack videos. The videos are all worth watching and passing on.

www.lindajanechandler.com I also have to footnote myself as my insights come from having created holiday commercials for The Bay for over 8 years!

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: The Pinch That Stole Christmas

By TO411Daily Columnist Linda Chandler

No matter what the economy has in store for us, one thing is for sure – Christmas is here! It started earlier than usual this year. I think I was still wearing sandals. In the spirit of all concerned: retailers; marketers; advertisers; digital designers; window dressers; in-store marketing; production and post production companies; newspapers; regional magazines; printers; music houses, casting agents; actors; singers; sales associates; merchants; temp staffers; Craft table services, and voice over artists -

The Brief has its fingers crossed for the tally, and here’s a mix of advertising and the culture it speaks to.

The best buy is still television.

According to this report by newobserver.com:

“TiVo addicts aren’t skipping as many TV commercials as conventional wisdom would have you think.

Viewers who have a DVR watch more TV, so they’re exposed to more ads.

In fact, the overall buying habits among households that have digital video recorders, which many believed sounded the death knell for TV commercials because they enable consumers to fast-forward through ads, aren’t any different than other couch potatoes, according to a study co-authored by a Duke University professor.

That’s good news for advertisers trying to reach consumers, as well as for ad agencies seeking cost-effective ways to trumpet clients’ messages.”*

However, The Brief thinks some of these holiday spots trumpet sad tidings.

It was a Zellers commercial that stimulated a low-grade anxiety for Canada’s vast middle class. Here’s the gist of the spot.

Music under. (No Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la’s!).

An exhausted and particularly dour mom and dad have handed off the last of their last minute gifts from Zellers. 

Dad (perplexed by how his life has taken this turn?) takes refuge in one of Santa’s cookies, whilst mom (rocks in pockets, ready to walk into the river like Virgina Woolf), takes nourishment in some of Santa’s milk. 

Leaving her with the iconic (or is it brand placement?) milk moustache. 

Cut to a young, mean-spirited daughter, inexplicably awakened (is depression noisy?), staring down her parents, arms across her chest. (Anyone remember the movie, The Bad Seed?)

Cut to mom, who shoots her daughter the dispossessed look of the “great unwashed”. Not since the dustbowl has a look so vanquished joy. 

Cut to Zellers logo…

Though the commercial succeeds in doing all the heavy lifting for Zellers, what impacts me (like a snowball in my face) is the heaviness of its tone and manner. 

To quote Dolly Parton: “Lord it’s like a hard candy Christmas.” Put this Zellers spot in a time capsule. 

Walmart has a TV commercial that struck similarly, but for different reasons. 

Perhaps it’s the long shot which separates the couple from one another that unnerving. (Does it exemplify the gulf created by financial stresses that divide families these days?)

This commercial goes something like this: 

A young mom and dad are in Christmas preparation mode. 

Music under. (No fa-la-la’s!)

We see Dad. His POV is to his wife (off camera). His expression is one of subdued alarm. He asks whether she’s seen everything on “the list”?

We cut to a long shot of the wife. She smiles sympathetically across the chasm to her husband. Don’t worry, her tone reassures. (As though her oncologist just phoned to say the tests came back fine.) 

Cut to SUPER: Walmart. 

Never have two commercials made holidays look so emotionally wrought. Yet, they capture the values of our times and what’s more – they get it right. 

They speak to the heightened pressures of the season in the second year of the not-so-great depression – which is still stealing cheer. And they speak to parents who struggle to keep up with their kids’ demands.

Canadians are feeling the pinch, and Canadian retailers are not insensate according to a report by CBC.ca.

“Canadian retailers are getting ready for the holiday season with rockbottom prices and major promotional campaigns in hopes that shoppers will open their wallets and seize the opportunity to save.”

The Brief takes a short break for that small moment of irony.

Now back to business.

“Both U.S.-based retailing giant Walmart and Sears Canada have unveiled campaigns centered around lower prices, particularly on bigger ticket items like iPods, LCD televisions, Blu-Ray players and cooking sets.

The price cuts come at a time when Canadians are not exactly in a mood to part with their cash, according to new research from TNS.

The report indicates consumers are expected to tighten their spending habits to the lowest levels in four years, with about one-third of those surveyed expecting to spend less during the holidays than last year.

Those weaker expectations have persisted throughout the industry in recent months, with many retailers complaining that sales have remained stagnant since the startup of holiday shopping weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Walmart said it will cut the prices of more than 18,000 items this month, which it said amounts to 20% more cuts than at the same time last year.

‘We know this has been a tough year for Canadians, so we have made every effort to drop our prices and help Canadians make their dollars go farther this holiday season,” said David Cheesewright, the president and CEO of the retail giant’s Canadian operations.'”*

If you want to cheer up go online.

Hats off to Zellers.com, in contrast to their cousin the TV commercial; it’s in a very festive mood, with a revamped site which includes Christmas-y snow flakes falling over the homepage and a gift section that helps users create a wish list – so they can sort by category, brand or price range.

Zellers.com also includes links to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. The site also features a list of the hottest 10 toys, which visitors can opt to “Like” on Facebook. Advocating to their friends.

eBay is ringing the bells for bloggers.

Bloggers circulate the economy. True, they do that at odd hours of the day and night. Not a bad strategy. Because while you’re hoping to get a human to notice you in an electronics department, they’re bidding on that iPad at eBay.

This is some feedback regarding eBay’s strategy The Brief found on the blog 5minutesformom.com.

“I think what made the whole experience so special for all of us mom bloggers was the common love and appreciation for social media. (from eBay) As Rachael from Today’s Mama said, we were in “Geek Heaven.”

Not only were we among our blogging kindred, and every one of us bloggers knows the relief it is to be with those who understand our bloggy lives. But we were at eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace who has decided to invest their holiday advertising campaign budget (according to the NY Times it is between 15-18 million!), on SOCIAL MEDIA!

eBay gets even more love from its loyal audience of bloggers for hiring the hilarious Samantha Bee, mock journalist from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, to star in eBay’s holiday campaign webisodes. They satirize Christmas morning freakout videos on YouTube.

The Brief wishes to communicate its holiday sentiments with a song. Cue: My Chemical Romance: http://bit.ly/dMIzV8

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don’t care about presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true …
All I want for Christmas
Is you.

—–

Comments and conversation: thebrief@to411.com

Where The Brief shopped for its sources:

http://www.newsobserver.com/no-death-rattle-for-tv-ads.html

*http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2010/11/16/con-christmas-spending.html

*http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2010/11/16/con-christmas-spending.html#ixzz16ads6UKp

Make sure you head over to eBay’s Love to Give site to view all of Samantha Bee’s Unwrap Attack videos. The videos are all worth watching and passing on.

www.lindajanechandler.com I also have to footnote myself as my insights come from having created holiday commercials for The Bay for over 8 years!

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: The Pinch That Stole Christmas

By TO411Daily Columnist Linda Chandler

No matter what the economy has in store for us, one thing is for sure – Christmas is here! It started earlier than usual this year. I think I was still wearing sandals. In the spirit of all concerned: retailers; marketers; advertisers; digital designers; window dressers; in-store marketing; production and post production companies; newspapers; regional magazines; printers; music houses, casting agents; actors; singers; sales associates; merchants; temp staffers; Craft table services, and voice over artists -

The Brief has its fingers crossed for the tally, and here’s a mix of advertising and the culture it speaks to.

The best buy is still television.

According to this report by newobserver.com:

“TiVo addicts aren’t skipping as many TV commercials as conventional wisdom would have you think.

Viewers who have a DVR watch more TV, so they’re exposed to more ads.

In fact, the overall buying habits among households that have digital video recorders, which many believed sounded the death knell for TV commercials because they enable consumers to fast-forward through ads, aren’t any different than other couch potatoes, according to a study co-authored by a Duke University professor.

That’s good news for advertisers trying to reach consumers, as well as for ad agencies seeking cost-effective ways to trumpet clients’ messages.”*

However, The Brief thinks some of these holiday spots trumpet sad tidings.

It was a Zellers commercial that stimulated a low-grade anxiety for Canada’s vast middle class. Here’s the gist of the spot.

Music under. (No Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la’s!).

An exhausted and particularly dour mom and dad have handed off the last of their last minute gifts from Zellers. 

Dad (perplexed by how his life has taken this turn?) takes refuge in one of Santa’s cookies, whilst mom (rocks in pockets, ready to walk into the river like Virgina Woolf), takes nourishment in some of Santa’s milk. 

Leaving her with the iconic (or is it brand placement?) milk moustache. 

Cut to a young, mean-spirited daughter, inexplicably awakened (is depression noisy?), staring down her parents, arms across her chest. (Anyone remember the movie, The Bad Seed?)

Cut to mom, who shoots her daughter the dispossessed look of the “great unwashed”. Not since the dustbowl has a look so vanquished joy. 

Cut to Zellers logo…

Though the commercial succeeds in doing all the heavy lifting for Zellers, what impacts me (like a snowball in my face) is the heaviness of its tone and manner. 

To quote Dolly Parton: “Lord it’s like a hard candy Christmas.” Put this Zellers spot in a time capsule. 

Walmart has a TV commercial that struck similarly, but for different reasons. 

Perhaps it’s the long shot which separates the couple from one another that unnerving. (Does it exemplify the gulf created by financial stresses that divide families these days?)

This commercial goes something like this: 

A young mom and dad are in Christmas preparation mode. 

Music under. (No fa-la-la’s!)

We see Dad. His POV is to his wife (off camera). His expression is one of subdued alarm. He asks whether she’s seen everything on “the list”?

We cut to a long shot of the wife. She smiles sympathetically across the chasm to her husband. Don’t worry, her tone reassures. (As though her oncologist just phoned to say the tests came back fine.) 

Cut to SUPER: Walmart. 

Never have two commercials made holidays look so emotionally wrought. Yet, they capture the values of our times and what’s more – they get it right. 

They speak to the heightened pressures of the season in the second year of the not-so-great depression – which is still stealing cheer. And they speak to parents who struggle to keep up with their kids’ demands.

Canadians are feeling the pinch, and Canadian retailers are not insensate according to a report by CBC.ca.

“Canadian retailers are getting ready for the holiday season with rockbottom prices and major promotional campaigns in hopes that shoppers will open their wallets and seize the opportunity to save.”

The Brief takes a short break for that small moment of irony.

Now back to business.

“Both U.S.-based retailing giant Walmart and Sears Canada have unveiled campaigns centered around lower prices, particularly on bigger ticket items like iPods, LCD televisions, Blu-Ray players and cooking sets.

The price cuts come at a time when Canadians are not exactly in a mood to part with their cash, according to new research from TNS.

The report indicates consumers are expected to tighten their spending habits to the lowest levels in four years, with about one-third of those surveyed expecting to spend less during the holidays than last year.

Those weaker expectations have persisted throughout the industry in recent months, with many retailers complaining that sales have remained stagnant since the startup of holiday shopping weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Walmart said it will cut the prices of more than 18,000 items this month, which it said amounts to 20% more cuts than at the same time last year.

‘We know this has been a tough year for Canadians, so we have made every effort to drop our prices and help Canadians make their dollars go farther this holiday season,” said David Cheesewright, the president and CEO of the retail giant’s Canadian operations.'”*

If you want to cheer up go online.

Hats off to Zellers.com, in contrast to their cousin the TV commercial; it’s in a very festive mood, with a revamped site which includes Christmas-y snow flakes falling over the homepage and a gift section that helps users create a wish list – so they can sort by category, brand or price range.

Zellers.com also includes links to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. The site also features a list of the hottest 10 toys, which visitors can opt to “Like” on Facebook. Advocating to their friends.

eBay is ringing the bells for bloggers.

Bloggers circulate the economy. True, they do that at odd hours of the day and night. Not a bad strategy. Because while you’re hoping to get a human to notice you in an electronics department, they’re bidding on that iPad at eBay.

This is some feedback regarding eBay’s strategy The Brief found on the blog 5minutesformom.com.

“I think what made the whole experience so special for all of us mom bloggers was the common love and appreciation for social media. (from eBay) As Rachael from Today’s Mama said, we were in “Geek Heaven.”

Not only were we among our blogging kindred, and every one of us bloggers knows the relief it is to be with those who understand our bloggy lives. But we were at eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace who has decided to invest their holiday advertising campaign budget (according to the NY Times it is between 15-18 million!), on SOCIAL MEDIA!

eBay gets even more love from its loyal audience of bloggers for hiring the hilarious Samantha Bee, mock journalist from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, to star in eBay’s holiday campaign webisodes. They satirize Christmas morning freakout videos on YouTube.

The Brief wishes to communicate its holiday sentiments with a song. Cue: My Chemical Romance: http://bit.ly/dMIzV8

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don’t care about presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true …
All I want for Christmas
Is you.

—–

Comments and conversation: thebrief@to411.com

Where The Brief shopped for its sources:

http://www.newsobserver.com/no-death-rattle-for-tv-ads.html

*http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2010/11/16/con-christmas-spending.html

*http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2010/11/16/con-christmas-spending.html#ixzz16ads6UKp

Make sure you head over to eBay’s Love to Give site to view all of Samantha Bee’s Unwrap Attack videos. The videos are all worth watching and passing on.

www.lindajanechandler.com I also have to footnote myself as my insights come from having created holiday commercials for The Bay for over 8 years!

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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