SPAR Ireland is all about ‘finding Christmas’ and Walmart looks at ‘all the ways we holiday’

Discussion
Sources: SPAR’s “Finding Christmas”; Walmart’s “All The Ways We Holiday”
Dec 22, 2022

The year 2022 has been a big one for grocery stores in the RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge. Weekly winners to date include Etsy, Kroger, Publix, Amazon.com, Aldi UK and Wegmans.

This week’s matchup pits SPAR Ireland, the largest convenience store chain in the Republic, against Walmart, the largest in the world.

SPAR, which was founded in The Netherlands in 1932 and opened its first Irish location in 1963, has made an annual tradition of its “under the tree” Christmas spots since 2012. The 2022 spot, like the commercial from 10 years ago, plays on tree imagery (SPAR’s logo) throughout, with scenes from daily life backed by a soundtrack of “The Christmas Song” by Water’s Edge. (Not the one co-written by Mel Torme and made famous by Nat King Cole.)

Walmart’s “All The Ways We Holiday” spot plays up to early shoppers who get into Christmas and all the other holidays that mark the season. It speaks to the diversity that distinguishes the U.S. and points to its ability to meet the needs of its customers, no matter what holidays they celebrate or how they may celebrate them.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your critique of the Christmas spots from SPAR Ireland and Walmart? 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
"How can you find fault in a feel-good holiday commercial?"
"Walmart gives us the slice of holiday life that retailers have come to embrace, but not too schmaltzy and they get their ad in too."
"SPAR Ireland’s spot will tug at the heartstrings, especially among those who are away, wistful and homesick."

Join the Discussion!

8 Comments on "SPAR Ireland is all about ‘finding Christmas’ and Walmart looks at ‘all the ways we holiday’"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Lucille DeHart
BrainTrust

How can you find fault in a feel-good holiday commercial? Both spots try to capture the essence of the holiday spirit and the energy surrounding the season. Walmart made a specific effort to check all of the diversity boxes while SPAR stayed true to its culture. If I had to vote — I still pick the M&M “Santa” spot where Yellow and Red meet the big guy face to face. Drop the mic.

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

I usually like the SPAR ads but this year left me – meh. Didn’t feel the usual heartstring tug. Walmart gives us the slice of holiday life that retailers have come to embrace, but not too schmaltzy and they get their ad in too. I think Walmart connects better than SPAR.

Jenn McMillen
BrainTrust

Walmart gets the vote for tapping into the emotional aspect of the holidays. SPAR’s is clever but it’s not “all the feels.”

Lisa Goller
BrainTrust

SPAR Ireland’s spot will tug at the heartstrings, especially among those who are away, wistful and homesick. Brilliant use of symbolic references to Christmas trees that align with SPAR’s logo. The beautiful song also reflects how Ireland over-indexes in musical talent.

Walmart sells to everyone, and this spot reflects the joy of inclusiveness and belonging. It positions Walmart as a global one-stop shop for food and gifts to enrich whatever holiday you celebrate. By widening the circle to include everyone, Walmart appeals to new shoppers.

Both spots are exquisite examples of our love of home and the holidays.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

I have always liked the SPAR commercials — subtle but to the point. The Walmart commercial definitely checked the diversity boxes and I liked the the dissolving glitter logo they used for their holiday ads, but I am going with the SPAR ad this round.

Patricia Vekich Waldron
Staff

Both were well done, but Walmart gets my vote because it reflects their offerings and continues the diversity that was featured in their FIFA World Cup commercials.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

The Walmart ad did nothing for me > SPAR. But, I might add, context is important: without George’s clarification, the latter wouldn’t have done anything for me, either.

With the entries all in — I believe — I detect a distinct pattern: “family” ads vs. (what I’ll call) “societal” ads; the former depict large family gatherings, while the latter see Xmas more as a community event. Those who live, or at least grew up in large families will likely embrace, or at least relate, to the first group, while those of us who didn’t won’t … indeed they may even be off-putting.

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
BrainTrust

Both good ads as noted by others. I was a visiting professor at University College Cork and got to know SPAR well. SPAR is a terrific retailer and compares favorably to the world’s largest retailer. Tiebreaker to SPAR.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"How can you find fault in a feel-good holiday commercial?"
"Walmart gives us the slice of holiday life that retailers have come to embrace, but not too schmaltzy and they get their ad in too."
"SPAR Ireland’s spot will tug at the heartstrings, especially among those who are away, wistful and homesick."

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