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Comical Holiday Commercials Favored This Holiday Season

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

Comical Holiday Commercials Favored This Holiday Season
-Macy’s, Target, Toys R Us Make Big Impressions This Year- 

Washington, December 16, 2010 – Holiday commercials are often just as popular as Super Bowl commercials, and this year, retailers skipped the sentimental approach as seen in recent years, aiming instead for a comical and oftentimes, quirky approach. According to a Retail Advertising and Marketing Association survey, conducted by BIGresearch, Target (#1) took back the top spot from Walmart (#2) and Macy’s (#3), using the celebrity appeal, jumped two spots to number three this year.

Other companies in the top 10 included Best Buy (#4), Kmart (#5), Sears (#6), Old Navy (#7), Kohl’s (#8), JCPenney (#9) and Toys R Us (#10). 

“Whatever the theme, retailers use their holiday advertisements to speak to much more than what they have in their stores,” said Mike Gatti, Executive Director, RAMA. “Whether through an emotional, celebrity or comical appeal, retailers want to connect with their shoppers on a much deeper level, especially as competition heats up during the holiday season.” 

According to the survey, 16.8 percent of shoppers said their favorite holiday commercial motivated them to shop with that retailer and one-third (33.5%) said there was no impact as they regularly shop there anyway.  Shoppers were also asked to name their favorite online holiday promotion, with Amazon (#1) ranking as number one. Walmart (#2), Target (#4) and Kohl’s and Best Buy (tied #5) also topped the list.

When asked if these online advertisements motivated them to shop that retailer, 22.0 percent said yes and more than one-fourth (27.7%) said they already shop there.  When it comes to specific holiday advertisements, four in 10 (42.3%) say coupons most influence their decision to shop at a particular store. Advertising inserts (24.3%) and word of mouth (23.3%) are other strong influencers when it comes to retailers’ holiday advertisements. Additionally, TV/Broadcast (22.0%) as a top influencer inched up in significance over direct mail (19.7%) this year, and nearly five percent (4.6%) say they are actually influenced by social media advertising.

“Consumers have a rocky relationship with television commercials, but at the end of the day, they love a well-timed, perfectly-themed, poignant commercial,” said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. “Traditional advertisements and coupons will continue to rule, especially in this economy, though shoppers are also beginning to find value in mobile and online advertising.”  

About the Survey The survey, conducted for RAMA by BIGresearch, polled 9,172 consumers from December 1-8, 2010 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® consumer intelligence provides analysis of behavior in areas of products and services, retail, financial services, automotive and media. The BIGresearch Consumer Intentions and Actions® Survey (CIATM) of 8,000+ respondents is conducted monthly and the Simultaneous Media Usage® Survey (SIMM®) of 15,000+ respondents is conducted semi-annually.

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