The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: GameStop vs. PetSmart

Discussion
Dec 23, 2014

Two commercials, each created with the goal of burnishing brand image, building consumer excitement and ultimately driving traffic and sales.

This week’s matchup is between "Deer Crossing" from GameStop, a commercial featuring Santa’s helpers up to some naughty, grand theft activity, and "Thanks" from PetSmart, which offers appreciation for four-legged family members in the form of chew toys under the Christmas tree.

[Image: GameStop]

[Image: PetSmart]

Which is better? You decide.

What do you think GameStop’s “Deer Crossing” and PetSmart’s “Thanks” commercials? Which does the better job of connecting with each chain’s core customers?

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


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W. Frank Dell II, CMC
Guest
7 years 5 months ago

PetSmart is the winner in my book. GameStop does not show fun playing with games or describe their large selection or cost advantage. PetSmart simply says thank you.

Gajendra Ratnavel
Guest
7 years 5 months ago

Found both of these to be terrible.

GameStop just made Santa a criminal and all the presents stolen goods?

Petsmart was too dog-focused. They could have used cats and birds as well.

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
Guest
7 years 5 months ago

PetSmart’s Thanks gets my vote. People love their pets and this reminder ad highlights that relationship with some adorable different dogs that PetSmart’s customers can relate to.

Not impressed with the GameStop ad. What message is being delivered—that it’s okay to truck-jack Christmas toys and games?

James Tenser
Guest
7 years 5 months ago

When it comes to connecting with core customers, I think the GameStop ad might just edge out the PetSmart ad.

Gamers are likely to enjoy the subversive nature of the truck-jacking. Only trouble is that gamers may be more likely to be gift recipients than givers. Will their parents and grandparents be similarly amused by criminal elves?

At least “Deer Crossing” takes some risks, while “Thanks” risks nothing except the boredom of cat owners.

Max Goldberg
Guest
7 years 5 months ago

PetSmart wins this round. Its commercial reinforces the special bond that families have with their pets, spotlighting PetSmart as the place to find special gifts for these special members of the family.

I don’t get the GameStop ad. Elves stealing a truck full of games doesn’t reinforce the company’s core story.

Kevin Graff
Guest
7 years 5 months ago

While many of us “old-timers” who write on this blog may not appreciate the GameStop ad, the five kids aged 10 to 12 watching it with me howled and thought it was the clear winner. That’s the audience (at the low end of the age scale) they are chasing.

For me, the old-timer, I was more attracted to the PetSmart ad for the emotional connection it made.

Call it a tie.

RIchard Hernandez
Guest
7 years 5 months ago

I get it—GameStop made the point that hard-to-get games and consoles are available at GameStop. You should have been there when I was in line to get a retro Nintendo 3DS unit for my cousin. There were none to buy unless your ordered a month before—people were not too happy.

PetSmart: I like the commercial. A lot less jarring than the GameStop commercial, and it makes a great connection for me. I choose PetSmart this round.

Marge Laney
Guest
7 years 5 months ago

Petsmart wins with me. Really cute.

GameStop’s ad while funny, portrays Santa as a crook. I can only imagine the conversations with little ones explaining that. Also, not being a gamer, I’m not certain what it has to do with what they sell.

Camille P. Schuster, Ph.D.
Guest
7 years 5 months ago

PetSmart wins for me—the relationship between giving a gift to show appreciation of a pet will hit home with pet owners. GameStop did not show games or giving a gift, it demonstrated wanting what you do not have.

Naomi K. Shapiro
Guest
Naomi K. Shapiro
7 years 5 months ago

Since I’m not the core customer for either commercial, I was interested in hearing the comment about young people’s reaction to GameStop. Nevertheless, I found the GameStop commercial jarring and a disconnect between what was really happening in the commercial and highlighting the product.

PetSmart connected with a warmth and pleasantness and most certainly highlighted their products effectively.

Steve Montgomery
Guest
7 years 5 months ago

PetSmart is the winner of this round. While it could have broadened to include other types of pets, dogs are the most likely pet to be interacted with.

Santa as a thief? Not sure a bad Santa image is good for any brand.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
7 years 5 months ago

PetSmart is the winner here. But I am a dog lover and owner so I might be biased. But who cares? There was a YouTube video shown on the NBC Nightly News last night showing the happiness a dog showed when his owner came to pick him up. A pet’s love is unconditional.

Lee Kent
Guest
7 years 5 months ago

Both were pretty low key and could have been much better, but if I have to choose, my 2 cents goes to PetSmart!

Karen S. Herman
Guest
7 years 5 months ago

Definitely prefer the naughty elves and the indirect acknowledgement by GameStop to fans of Grand Theft Auto V. According to commentary in Forbes Tech, GTAV sold over 33 million units and raked in more than $2 billion dollars since its release in September 2013. This commercial is certainly directed to these customers. I also like the clueless reindeer who is shooting back to the North Pole to fill in Santa. It’s a modern take on Christmas stereotypes. Very nice.

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