It's officially the holiday season – kicked off last week for me by two symbolic events:
- Starbucks rolled out their familiar holiday cups
- Christmas music started playing in force on radio stations throughout the U.S.
On the very same day, I was drinking coffee from one of those aforementioned cups, when I had my annual Brenda Lee “hearing.” Of all stations, WCSX HD-2 played “Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree,” and for me the season was officially off and running. (The fact we're expecting several inches of the white stuff in Detroit today is neither here nor there.)
Every brand – whether you're a retail store, an e-commerce business, or a radio station – is trying to capture that spirit in what will actually a shorter holiday season than usual. By a quirk of the calendar, Retail Dive reminds us this holiday season will have six fewer shopping days. That's because Thanksgiving falls late this year – on November 28th.
While “Black Friday” is becoming less relevant with each passing year – themed promotions are already underway – this season's truncated shopping period puts even more pressure on sellers, retailers, and media marketers to get in the mood faster, more strategically, and with more creativity.
That's why Ralph Jacobson, IBM's Global Retail & CPG Sales Strategist believes that a successful holiday effort has more to do with other factors than it does the calendar:
“Overall, season performance relies far more upon the economy and consumer sentiment than when the holiday falls during the week. Market your stuff hard, and you'll win.”
Last time I checked, most of can't do much about the calendar. But we can make an effort to emotionally connect with consumers – and advertisers – this holiday season.
And there may be no matter example of capturing that spirit than a full-length commercial from a UK-based brand perhaps you haven't heard of – Argos. They're a catalogue retailer, and they've produced a TV spot that may have already captured “Best of the Season” honors this year.
While it is most definitely a Christmas commercial, it is also a father/daughter bonding message with Rock n' Roll providing the emotional glue:
AdWeek's David Griner calls it “one of the best holiday ads in years.” He tells the story of how Argos' agency, The&Partnership, put the commercial together, chose the soundtrack, and brilliantly cast the spot with a compelling – and talented father/daughter combo.
The remarkable little girl is 9 year-old Nandi Bushell from the UK. And she is nothing short of amazing.
Interestingly, “Don't You Forget About Me” is linked with the Gen X film, “The Breakfast Club,” here in the U.S. But in Scotland, Simple Minds are native sons. And as creative director Danny Hunt notes, the song is “drum-forward.”
In some ways, the spot is a mini-feel good, Christmas movie (complete with a moshing teddy bear). It's a similar vibe to “Home Alone” – but in just 3 minutes.
And whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah (starting 12/22)), Kwanzaa (12/26), Festivus (12/23), or no holiday at all, Argo's manages to light the light, inspiring all of us to embrace the best of the season.
Wonder if that moshing teddy bear in the Argos catalogue is for sale.
Several of you sent me the Argos spot, including J.J. Duling & Dave Coombs. Thanks, guys.
See Nandi Bushell jamming with Lenny Kravitz in the video below:
And this just in:
It may be a Hip-Hop Christmas, too. Check out IKEA's new UK ad, “Silence the Critics.” There is a lot of creativity happening “across the pond.”