It’s official – the holidays are here. And even though they say it’s better to give than to receive, many retailers are expecting a lot in return for their hefty advertising budgets. The more you give, the more you get. Well, one daring retailer is putting this theory to the test with a brand new, risky campaign that relies on moms to boost sales and makes Chris Kringle look downright lazy.
As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Kringle can do no wrong, but Best Buy believes that a faceoff between mom and Santa will bring in the big bucks. Although Best Buy has been experiencing declining sales for over a year, it’s juiced up its advertising budget for the holidays, ditching its tried and true Blue Elf from last year’s campaign and targeting moms.
Some might say it’s risky business for a brand (especially one with declining sales) to invest in an anti-Santa campaign around Christmas time, especially when consumer spending is at its peak. But during the holidays, when every retailer is pushing and shoving to get to the front of the crowd, how else does a brand get noticed?
Without risk, there’s less room for reward. Just look at the success of Go Daddy’s saucy commercials as an example. While Go Daddy’s irreverent execution wouldn’t necessarily work for Best Buy, a witty mom throwing shots at Santa might. Best Buy’s campaign is not malicious, but instead of being sweet and wholesome, like all the other holiday commercials, it almost makes you say, “Aww, poor Santa” and then “I think I’ll check out Best Buy this year.” If this past weekend was any indication, it looks like the overall marketing strategy is working.
The TV spots focus on items under $100 that entice shoppers (specifically moms) who are looking for cool gadgets to wow their family and friends without breaking the bank. It’s a funny, creative way to talk about value that most other retailers have yet to discover.
At the end of the day, brands need to research their audiences before deciding how edgy is too edgy, who will be offended, and whether or not the offended parties matter to the brand.
You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be one great thing to your core audience. The thicker their skin, the further you can push it.