In all likelihood, you may still be deep in the morass of holiday shopping as the clock counts down to Christmas. (BTW Last night was the last of the eight nights of Hanukkah so there's still technically time to give a gift card or some “gelt” to a friend, co-worker, or family member.)
The shopping season forces all types of decisions. Do you shop at physical stores, do you take your business online, or some of both? And what are the brands that you believe in, trust the most, and simply adore?
For marketers, December is a fascinating time to observe the strategies of some of the world's biggest and most prestigious brands. How are they addressing the challenges and opportunities of the holiday season? Are they retrenching, staying the course, throwing crazy sales, or innovating with their marketing?
There's often a lot of focus on brands that are in need of rehab. Entire books have been written about companies forced to pivot or reboot due to a series of misfortune events or years of neglect. And then there are the brands that throw caution to the wind in an effort to recapture attention and perhaps convey a very different image.
That was Nike's course of action earlier in the year when they featured Colin Kaepernick front and center in their advertising. While many analyses have been written about the wisdom of this strategy, most observers believe it has helped put Nike back on the running shoe map and has improved its image in the eyes of Millennials and members of Gen Z – consumers near and dear to their long-term future.
And then there's Tiffany's – perhaps the ultimate luxury brand for jewelry. Decades before the Deep Blue Something song, “Breakfast at Tiffany's” was an iconic film featuring Audrey Hepburn in the role of Holly Golightly, one of filmdom's most memorable characters. For Holly, Tiffany's symbolizes everything that is right and wonderful in the world.
But that was back in 1961 where every young socialite and would-be debutant fantasized about getting jewelry from Tiffany's. Today, the brand still carries prestige, but perhaps is more associated with an America of J.F.K., missions to the moon, and color televisions.
And perhaps that's why Tiffany's has boldly assessed its marketing strategy this season, electing to embrace a more adventuresome and exciting image. And for that, they've signed Zoe Kravitz – daughter of Lenny and Lisa Bonet – as their modern spokesperson. Sort of Holly Golightly 2.0.
Their ad campaign depicts a beautiful, almost psychedelic dream world, reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland or something Andy Warhol or David Bowie might have dreamed up during a psychedelic brainstorm. It's directed by Mark Romanek, the force behind Beyoncé's “Lemonade,” someone who knows how to say it with images and atmospherics.
And the soundtrack?
It's Aerosmith's “Dream On,” of course…
…the perfect anthem to convey an exciiting, modern, high-end image like Tiffany's. In the past three decades, I've watched some very prestigious brands use Classic Rock songs to set just the right tone and mood in their advertising. This one's off the charts.
For the brand that defines luxury jewelry and the best in life, this “Believe In Dreams” campaign takes a bold step with a mainstream rock ‘n roll soundtrack.
Music is a powerful force – perhaps even more important than many of us in broadcast radio even realize. A new Pew Research study reports that listening to music is the fifth most important source of meaning in people's lives. It is nostalgic, energizing, powerful, and a source that brings people together.
Music is only behind spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, and caring for pets as game-changing, meaningful life activities that go to the marrow of our souls. It beats out reading, religion, and careers.
And as marketers know so well, Classic Rock is especially evocative as a source of painting pictures, creating imagery, making memories, and shaping and changing perceptions.
I'm expecting a lot of Classic Rock marketing reps will be using this over the top Tiffany's spot as a reminder to their clients of the importance of the music, not just as something that passes the time, but as a soundtrack that builds brands.
This holiday seasons, “Believe in Dreams.”
And buy some jewelry.
Jacobs Media has consistently walked the walk in the digital space, providing insights and guidance through its well-read national Techsurveys.
In 2008, jacapps was launched - a mobile apps company that has designed and built more than 1,200 apps for both the Apple and Android platforms. In 2013, the DASH Conference was created - a mashup of radio and automotive, designed to foster better understanding of the "connected car" and its impact.
Along with providing the creative and intellectual direction for the company, Fred consults many of Jacobs Media's commercial and public radio clients, in addition to media brands looking to thrive in the rapidly changing tech environment.
Fred was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2018.