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‘Tis the Season for Retail Holiday Campaigns

With Gray Thursday (aka Thanksgiving night), Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, holiday marketing campaigns are in full force. What’s new this year?

According to Stuart Elliot’s article from The New York Times, this year’s holiday campaigns are taking risks and using Super Bowl advertising tactics to introduce campaigns in “traditional, digital and social media that are stuffed with celebrities, surprises and schmaltz.” Sounds like a PR/marketing nerd’s dream come true.

Here are three of my favorites:

In a blog post, Target announced its holiday marketing campaign theme: #MyKindOfHoliday. As mentioned in one of my previous blog posts, the use of the hashtag encourages consumers to join the conversation through social media platforms. In Target’s case, the #MyKindOfHoliday hashtag encourages people to share the special traditions (big and small) they use to celebrate this wonderful time of year.

The campaign includes weekly Instagram challenges, how-to photos and videos to inspire creative DIY gifts, and last minute shopping tips on Twitter. Check it out on Target’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram pages.

Kohl’s is known for holiday ads that concentrate on savings, deals and their cash coupons. This year, you might want to get your box of Kleenex ready. The retailer’s new heartwarming campaign features a couple decorating their elderly neighbor’s apartment for the holidays while she’s out.

In AdAge’s interview with Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief customer officer, Gass shared that this year’s holiday ads are dedicated to be “disruptive in a different way,” and that their will be messages about sales and savings, but will focus on “the moments of giving.” Cheers to you, Kohl’s!

Kmart has done it again. To complement their recent play-on-words commercials, “Ship My Pants” and “Big Gas Savings,” Kmart’s latest campaign, “Ring Your Joe,” features men in tuxedo jackets wearing holiday themed boxer shorts and dancing to ringing bells.

Of course, the retailer – who has been struggling for years – is taking some heat from it. In fact, Los Angeles Times reported that One Million Moms has launched a social media campaign to pull the ad from TV, calling it “disgusting” and “inappropriate.” Whether you agree with the commercial or not, 2013 has been quite the year for their advertising and has given the brand some great exposure.

In conclusion, brands are using new tools and tactics in their marketing to evoke holiday spirit with their audience. As you’re gearing up for the holiday season, what are your favorite 2013 holiday campaigns you’ve seen so far? Share it in the comments below, on our Facebook page or tweet us at @nstpr.

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