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Gap, Hallmark, Old Navy Make Big Strides on List of Shoppers’ Favorite Holiday Ads

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View an NRF blog post featuring some retailers' holiday ads.

For Immediate Release
Kathy Grannis (202)783-7971 or grannisk@nrf.com

Gap, Hallmark, Old Navy Make Big Strides on List of Shoppers’ Favorite Holiday Ads
--Wal-Mart Overtakes Target as Shoppers’ Favorite Commercial--

Washington, December 15, 2009 – Each holiday season, retailers reach through shoppers’ television screens to invoke feelings of excitement, nostalgia and holiday cheer. From a group of mannequins discussing gift ideas to a son wishing for snow for his deployed father and a campaign promoting letters to Santa, retailers have found creative ways to reach their shoppers through holiday ads this year.  

According to a Retail Advertising and Marketing Association survey, conducted by BIGresearch, Walmart (#1) overtook Target (#2) as the company with shoppers’ favorite holiday commercial. Target has topped the list since 2005, the inaugural year of the survey.  

Other big news came from Gap, Hallmark and Old Navy, with Gap (#4) resurfacing on the list for the first time since 2006, Hallmark (#9) making the list for the first time, and Old Navy (#6) climbing three spots from last year’s ranking. Other companies in the top ten included Best Buy (#3), Macy’s (#5), Kmart (#7), Sears (#8) and Kohl’s (#10). 

“From the hilarious to the nostalgic, retailers holiday advertisements are designed to create a unique, personal connection with customers,” said Mike Gatti, Executive Director, RAMA. “Whether the ads remind shoppers about potential savings, use real employees to promote specific products, or simply highlight the spirit of Christmas, advertisements this year have hit a sweet spot with shoppers.”    

According to the survey, 16.8 percent of shoppers said their favorite holiday commercial motivated them to shop with that retailer and nearly one-third (32.8%) said there was no impact as they regularly shop there anyway.  

As a new component to the survey this year, shoppers were asked to name their favorite online holiday promotion, with Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Kohl’s topping the list. Other favorites included eBay, Macy’s, JCPenney, Overstock.com, Sears, Kmart and Old Navy. When asked if these online advertisements motivated them to shop that retailer, 22.1 percent said yes and more than one-fourth (27.8%) said they already shop there.  

“Shoppers aren’t only relying on traditional advertising to find the best deals,” said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. “Whether they were saving on shipping or using an in-store coupon, shoppers dug through every avenue of potential savings before choosing to commit.”   

When it comes to specific holiday advertisements, coupons are king with 44.6 percent of shoppers saying the opportunity to save a few bucks is what most influences them to shop at a particular store. Word of mouth (27.2%), advertising inserts (26.9%), newspapers (22.0%) and direct mail (21.3%) are other strong influencers when it comes to retailers’ holiday advertisements. 

About the Survey 
The survey, conducted for RAMA by BIGresearch, polled 9,929 consumers from December 1-9, 2009 by asking consumers to write in their favorite holiday television advertisement. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.  

BIGresearch is a consumer market intelligence firm that provides unique consumer insights that are gathered online utilizing very large sample sizes. BIGresearch’s syndicated Consumer Intentions and Actions survey monitors the pulse of more than 8,000 consumers each month to empower its clients with unique insights for identifying opportunities in a fragmented and changing marketplace.

The Retail Advertising & Marketing Association, a division of the National Retail Federation, is a trade association of over 1500 retail marketing and advertising executives, plus their supporting partners from the advertising agency, media and service-provider areas. RAMA co-produces the Retail Innovation and Marketing Conference, the largest single gathering of retail marketing and advertising professionals in the industry today. RAMA also produces the RACie Awards Competition, the most prestigious creative contest in retail. www.rama-nrf.org