What’s the best recipe for holiday ad messaging during a pandemic?
Despite the stream of negative news this year, 63 percent of consumers said the holidays will still be a time of joy with Gen Z and Millennials looking forward to the season far more than older generations, according to a recent survey. Even so, 83 percent agreed their holidays will be different in some way.
Consumers are focusing on togetherness, gratitude and giving back, and celebrations that center around the home. They also want to see these sentiments portrayed in retail advertising, according to findings from the survey of 2,000 U.S consumers from Edelman taken in mid-September.
Beyond pandemic-centered anxieties, the tone of the campaigns are being affected by the nation’s racial challenges as well as the political divide following a contentious election.
Among the early 2020 holiday campaigns to arrive, Gap’s “Dream The Future” theme comes with an upbeat and hopeful message. “As we approach the end of a challenging year, we recognize that our country is fatigued and longing for a sense of unity,” said Mary Alderete, global head of Gap marketing.
Bloomingdale’s says its “Give Happy” campaign “embodies positivity and togetherness at the close of a challenging year.”
Banana Republic’s “Love the Present,” campaign “celebrates love and underscores an appreciation for the here and now” by capturing intimate moments of real-life families and couples, rather than using actors, according the chain’s press release.
Michael Janover, the brand’s head of marketing, said, “Holiday 2020 is an opportunity to refocus on what really matters — spending time with loved ones, creating new traditions and making the most of every moment, big or small.”
Saks’ “This Is How We Celebrate” campaign celebrates “only in New York” moments with a 10-story-tall theatrical light show at its New York flagship to be live-streamed online. The theme was designed before the city went into lockdown, but resonates more given the city’s challenges.
Emily Essner, Saks Fifth Avenue’s chief marketing officer. told Fashionista, “We take our role in New York City very seriously, and we very much believe that New York City is the greatest city on Earth and that, as it is our hometown, it’s absolutely our responsibility to do everything that we can to support it.”
- Holiday 2020: Responding To A New Consumer Mandate – Edelman
- Gap Launches Holiday ‘DREAM THE FUTURE’ Campaign – A Celebration Of Modern American Optimism – Gap/PRNewswire
- Gap Debuts Holiday Campaign From New CMO And In-House Team – Advertising Age
- Bloomingdale’s Inspires Shoppers to “Give Happy” This Holiday Season – Bloomingdale’s
- Banana Republic Debuts ‘Love The Present’ and Partners With Feeding America® and CARE on Giving Tuesday to Work For A Better Republic And Support Those In Need – Banana Republic
- Saks Fifth Avenue Is Approaching Holiday Windows A Little Differently This Year – Fashionista
- Saks Spotlights ‘This Is How We Celebrate’ for Holiday – Women’s Wear Daily
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What themes should this year’s holiday campaigns embrace? What traditional themes or approaches should be toned down or avoided at all costs?