The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Best Buy vs. PetSmart

Discussion
Nov 01, 2013

Two commercials: Each created with the goal of drumming up consumer excitement and driving traffic and sales.

In this second episode of the RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge, we offer up new spots from Best Buy and PetSmart for you to critique. At the end of the holiday season, we will put all the winners from the ongoing competition (Toys "R" Us spanked Target last week) up for a vote to determine the merchant with the most to be cheerful about during this season of stress and, hopefully, cheer.

Which is better? You decide.

[Image: Best Buy Holiday]

[Image: PetSmart Holiday]

What do you think of Best Buy’s “Judy” and PetSmart’s “Santa’s Favorite Store” commercials? Will they help to drive business for the two chains this holiday season?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

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14 Comments on "The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Best Buy vs. PetSmart"


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Ryan Mathews
Guest
8 years 6 months ago

Interestingly, these are both Christmas commercials rather than “Holiday” commercials. Don’t know if that signals a shift away from political correctness or if it’s just a function of sample size.

At any rate, Judy is more irritating and therefore more memorable. A couple of these ads could make Judy Best Buy’s answer to Flo, the insurance icon.

The Pet Smart spot seemed a little too old school for these jaded times, but maybe I’m more cynical than the average viewer. The “Santa” presence sort of didn’t work for me – way too passive.

Will they drive business? Only if there’s an addition to the spots advertising insane holiday sales.

Dick Seesel
Guest
8 years 6 months ago

This is an “apples vs. oranges” comparison, because one spot (Best Buy) is pushing assortments of tech gear and PetSmart is pushing value. On its own merits, however, I prefer the PetSmart ad: Who doesn’t find Santa and a puppy appealing?

As to the Best Buy spot, it tries too hard in 30 seconds to convey a lot of detailed information about the tech gear – is it an ad for Best Buy or the Microsoft Surface tablet? (And I personally found Amy Poehler to be a more effective spokesperson than Maya Rudolph.) So thumbs up to PetSmart for using its value message to convey a greater sense of urgency.

Camille P. Schuster, Ph.D.
Guest
8 years 6 months ago

The Best Buy ad pushes purchases of expensive items. PetSmart’s ad offers a coupon. One ad is about buying gifts for people, while the other is about buying gifts for pets. Which ad best motivates people to purchase? PetSmart. Which ad is memorable? Judy is memorable as a character so will be remembered, but people will not remember that it was an ad for Best Buy.

Chris Petersen, PhD
Guest
8 years 6 months ago

Neither.

Both TV ads are extremely product centric. The emphasis seems to be in hawking specific products. Petsmart even goes so far to put a promotional discount in their ad. What happened to the theme of “pets are part of the family and need to be included in the celebration”?

Neither of the ads promote the quality of the experience of shopping in their stores … or anything magical about they holiday season. Both seem to be just messaging “come here to buy stuff.”

In tallying the votes of the comparison ad votes, it would be interesting to see not only who wins the in the ad pair, but which ads garner the most votes.

Joan Treistman
Guest
8 years 6 months ago

I think PetSmart gave up the opportunity to leverage cute pets. There’s one dog and “great value.” Where are the happy, healthy, playful pets (because of PetSmart products) and their proud and joyful pet parents?

Best Buy’s approach captures attention and conveys a message of Best Buy holiday gifts that can fulfill a shopper’s list.

Both commercials seem a bit tepid to me. However, I think Best Buy has an advantage for stimulating consideration and sales.

As for the Christmas vs. Holiday themes that were raised by Ryan I have become so desensitized that I could mistake these for Valentine’s Day…almost.

Larry Negrich
Guest
8 years 6 months ago

Appears both were paid for with vendor dollars as they are both more product-promotion oriented than brand-focused. I’d give this round to Best Buy.

Connie Kski
Guest
Connie Kski
8 years 6 months ago

PetSmart is using a large chunk of its time to push a dog food deal that is available most of the time anyway. And the gifts? Low end, and all you really see/remember is the rawhide bone. If all they have to offer is rawhide bones (processed who knows where) and catnip toys – I don’t need to go there!

OTOH the message from Best Buy is that they have lots of stuff and know what they’re talking about.

Tom Redd
Guest
8 years 6 months ago

Judy wins this round. Why? It supplies the holiday sense around it – with the fire and all. The visit to the store is good, but could have used more story time and a coupon shows up in her book? Last, the Judy at the fire appeals to the audience with the largest wallets – parents.

Santa is solid due to the immediate tie in with a promotional – a promo on one of their top-selling dog foods and very good for your dogs (our dogs eat the lamb flavor).

We are close, but Judy, the scenes, the bit of wildness – OWNS the WALLET.

Tom…National Ad Evaluator….

Rhonda Bauer
Guest
Rhonda Bauer
8 years 6 months ago

Best Buy is more engaging with the story and the tone of voice plus the spot presents the products visually whereas PetSmart relies on the verbal ques of ‘Santa’ to carry the delight/audience engagement. Best Buy commercial more likely to drive business of the two.

Lee Peterson
Guest
8 years 6 months ago

Not a fair comparison IMO. Best Buy hits all the hot points, including the use of relevant talent and a great closing.

Lee Kent
Guest
8 years 6 months ago

PetSmart could have done sooooo much more! Who doesn’t love to see cute pets? They focused entirely on the savings. What a loss.

I obviously preferred Best Buy. I do like it when they showcase products that are hot. The ad sparked ideas and in a way that I could tolerate.

See, toleration is the factor to me. If the ad is intolerable then I can’t watch it to the end. If you give me cute, funny, emotional, I will watch the ad and get the meat. Just sayin’….

Thomas Montgomery
Guest
Thomas Montgomery
8 years 6 months ago

I’m not an expert here, but the PetSmart’s commercial does offer me something to visit their store. A discount!

The Best Buy commercial offers more entertainment value with the use of Maya Rudolph.

Matthew Keylock
Guest
Matthew Keylock
8 years 6 months ago

Not really a fan of either. Best Buy’s seemed like it was driven solely by vendors. Are these the best products to show for their loyal and expected holiday customers this year and to differentiate them?

PetSmart’s commercial also showed very little of what I would consider to be its strengths. Instead just a very few products and tenuous inclusion of “Santa.” Why wasn’t he buying anything for his Reindeer?

Karen S. Herman
Guest
8 years 6 months ago

Really like Best Buy’s “Judy” 30 second spot. Find the fireside storytelling comforting to stressed holiday shoppers. The store interior shots are visually pleasing in their presentation of popular tech products and I appreciate the solution oriented approach this commercial takes.

Sad to say I was underwhelmed by PetSmart’s offering.

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