Macy’s is ‘speechless’ and Wegmans says ‘the more we get together, the happier we will be’

Discussion
Sources: Macy’s “Speechless”; Wegmans Holiday Commercial 2022
Dec 14, 2022

Macy’s and Wegmans are going for the heart strings in round six of the 2022 RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge. Which one will join Etsy, Kroger, Publix, Amazon.com and Aldi UK in the finals?

The department store chain’s commercial brings us into the home of a family to see them unwrapping their Christmas gifts. The mom opens her last box to see what her husband gave her. Will she like the gift or want to return it? We have to wait to find out as the son tells her “to use her words.” Macy’s commercial is called “Speechless.”

Wegmans spot requires a build-up as an industrious young man is tracked in the months leading up to Christmas. The holiday season, Wegmans tells us, is “about sharing joy, making memories, and enjoying great food.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your critique of the Christmas spots from Macy’s and Wegmans? Which retailer does a better job of connecting with its core customers while reaching out to new shoppers with its Christmas spot?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Nostalgia sells and both spots hit on that theme."
"Going with Wegmans. It touches all of the right emotions and I like the fact that the kid is connected to the neighbor."
"How many times have you bought a special gift and then held your breath – and the receipt – hoping the recipient will understand what went into choosing it? Well done, Macy’s."

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22 Comments on "Macy’s is ‘speechless’ and Wegmans says ‘the more we get together, the happier we will be’"


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Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

I like the Wegmans ad. It is touching and shows selflessness. It also features a lot of food which is what Wegmans is all about! However I do hope that the lady was invited in to celebrate with the family; it seems kind of mean to just bring her a plate and let her eat on her own!

Macy’s spot is short but sweet. It gets the message of Christmas giving across succinctly and in a compelling way, and has a touch of humor.

If Wegmans had shown the lady being invited in, it would have gotten my vote. It didn’t, so my vote goes to Macy’s!

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

The family obviously didn’t even notice their son had been helping the lady next door. If they had, you know she would have been invited for dinner. Details like this drive me crazy!

Paula Rosenblum
BrainTrust

You have a point, but it does provide a twist on a commercial put out by every other grocer.

On the flip side, neither commercial creates any kind of urgency to buy from either company.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

I am glad I am not the only one that obsesses over these details!

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

I am glad I am not the only one that notices those details too … Macy’s wins today.

Ken Morris
BrainTrust

Nostalgia sells and both spots hit on that theme. I personally like Wegmans better as I believe they hit on the real spirit of Christmas. The joy of giving not just a gift but your time to others who might be lonely, older and isolated. I’ve only seen one spot but it hooked me.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

I know I shouldn’t do this because it’s only a commercial, but come on. In the Wegmans spot, the boy’s family doesn’t notice that their kid has been caring for their elderly neighbor’s house? And if they are having a big feast, why wouldn’t they have invited her, knowing she is alone and their son’s involvement? Maybe BECAUSE THEY ARE CLUELESS. It’s a beautifully filmed piece with a wonky plot.

The Macy’s spot rings true. How many times have you bought a special gift and then held your breath – and the receipt – hoping the recipient will understand what went into choosing it? Well done, Macy’s. You are the winner today.

Mohamed Amer, PhD
BrainTrust

Georganne, you should do this because it’s a commercial!

Dick Seesel
BrainTrust

If the Wegmans ad had just focused on food and family around the table, it would have looked like a lot of other grocers’ holiday ads — too generic. The act of kindness (taking the plate of food next door) separated it from the pack.

Meanwhile, I found the Macy’s ad to be simple and heartfelt (while reminding all of us that fine jewelry makes a great holiday gift). It’s a close call, but Macy’s gets my vote this week.

Lisa Goller
BrainTrust

Both retailers show how we can be emotionally moved by thoughtful gifts.

Macy’s brilliantly captures how the mom is overcome by generosity and bling. Lavishing our loved ones with unexpected gifts they would never buy for themselves could drive new traffic to Macy’s. This gesture is even more remarkable as inflation erodes disposable income.

While lockdowns are behind us, Wegmans reminds us to add cheer and break others’ isolation by connecting with love and food.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

The holidays are an appropriate time for retailers and brands to drive nostalgia, emotions, and interest in their products and services. Macy’s and Wegmans hit the mark on the emotional side of the holidays and how the art of gift-giving could build new memories. They both succeeded in driving the sense of urgency to go holiday shopping and to prepare for the events with the right foods and gifts.

The sentimentality of the Wegmans ad gets my vote over the Macy’s ad. However while it was commendable that the young boy was helping the neighbor, the family should have recognized this and invited the lady to celebrate with the family. Instead of having the boy drop off a plate at the neighbor’s house, that nice lady should have been included in the family event as she appears to be alone. These are small details. However details do matter.

Steve Montgomery
BrainTrust

Both had a gift giving theme, but Wegmans gets my vote. Macy’s ad shows the joy of receiving what I assume is an expensive gift. Wegmans’ commercial held the twist of who the work was being done for until the end and the joy that a simple thoughtful gift can bring.

All that being said I do agree with Georganne that what should have happened is the family inviting their neighbor to dinner.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

I’m with Georganne on this one. The kid seems to move independently of the rest of his family. Not only is he the only one that notices the neighbor needs help he wanders away from the Christmas meal. It was distracting. On the other hand the Macy’s spot rang true about gift-giving insecurity but didn’t really scream Holiday to me. He could have had the same doubts around her birthday, their anniversary, or whatever. I’m abstaining on this one.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

Macys ad is compact, clear, and emotionally compelling. While Wegmans tells a sweet story, it didn’t exactly make sense nor connect me to any idea of shopping at Wegmans. My vote goes to Macy’s from these two.

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

Wegmans wins for me – got the spirit of Christmas down pat. Macy’s was good, but it was commercialism – I want something that touches the heart.

Mohamed Amer, PhD
BrainTrust

Our subconscious notices details that only come out when we critique intentionally. Even under a minute long, these are stories designed to connect, convey meaning, and elicit actions. Macy’s did it beautifully, while Wegmans focused on the son and his elderly neighbor. His family remains outside the plot and is only used to introduce Wegmans’ food, seemingly disconnected from his world. Macy’s is the winner!

Brian Numainville
BrainTrust

Going with Wegmans. It touches all of the right emotions and I like the fact that the kid is connected to the neighbor. Sometimes it’s the act we don’t all see that means the most.

John Karolefski
BrainTrust

Wegmans by far. Everyday folks will connect with such a warn, heartfelt message.

As for Macy’s, not everyone can afford to give expensive jewelry for Christmas, so not many will connect with the message.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

Both were big improvements over what we’ve seen, if for no other reason that that they were both to the point; Macy’s was most to the point, so I gave it the nod, but it’s pretty much a coin toss (as something of a side note, the woman does a great job of giving the look, which may — unintentionally, I hope — give people the idea that’s the response to a gift from them … of fine jewelery, anyway).

Rachelle King
BrainTrust

Both spots are on brand but Wegmans gets my vote for tugging the heartstrings a bit more and landing a bit of holiday spirit.

Macy’s does an outstanding job of messaging to their customers. But, in these economic times, unsure how many new customers they reached with high-end bling. Also, they could have pulled out the emotional aspect of gift giving a little longer.

Wegmans is spot on with incorporating food, kids, family and the spirit of giving for the holiday season. The background music makes a soft landing for Wegmans as well.

Nicely done by both!

W. Frank Dell II
BrainTrust

Macy’s spot was short and to the point. You can buy a present at Macy’s that will make her speechless. It tugs at the heart of every husband. It promotes shopping at Macy’s. Wegmans builds on all we do year round getting to the Christmas celebration and feast. Food being a centerpiece, after gifts, can be found at Wegmans. They are both great commercials and I rarely go against Wegmans, but I think Macy’s will sell more goods and gets my vote.

William Passodelis
Guest

Wow, this is a difficult one! Both are REALLY GOOD! The Macy’s commercial is great: very basic, but very relatable. Every husband across America has hopefully been smart enough (and enough of a good buyer) to get that result!

When you realize that the boy’s work is ALL at the older lady’s house next door — OMG! But I have to admit, the commercial SHOULD have completed with the lady going into the boys home and being welcomed by the family there. (Really, they only just had to be seen at the door.) Difficult to believe that the marketers at Wegmans didn’t get that! The commercial is good — but it doesn’t quite cross the finish line.

I still have to go for Wegmans however … in this “meaner every day” world, we NEED every message of kindness and compassion.

These were BOTH terrific! BTW — HAPPY HOLIDAYS to everyone!

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Nostalgia sells and both spots hit on that theme."
"Going with Wegmans. It touches all of the right emotions and I like the fact that the kid is connected to the neighbor."
"How many times have you bought a special gift and then held your breath – and the receipt – hoping the recipient will understand what went into choosing it? Well done, Macy’s."

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