The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Best Buy vs. Walmart

Discussion
Nov 23, 2015

Two winners — Macy’s "The Wish Writer" and T.J. Maxx’s "Bring Back the Holidays" — have each played on the sentiment of the season to connect with viewers.

This week’s challenge will put two spots in competition with a general theme of finding the right gifts for those we care about: Best Buy’s "Win The Holidays" and Walmart’s "The Best Holiday Gifts For Kids As Sung By Craig Robinson."

Each chain is counting on the holiday selling season to put it on more solid footing. While Best Buy has posted same-store sales gains for five straight quarters, the last quarter only saw a 0.5 percent increase for that important metric. The chain pointed to slow sales of televisions, computers and cameras. While Walmart has posted five straight quarters of same-store gains, those figures have all been in the low single digits.

[Image: Best Buy ad]
Best Buy TV Commercial, ‘Win the Holidays at Best Buy: Steve’ – iSpot.tv

[Image: Walmart ad]
The Best Holiday Gifts For Kids As Sung By Craig Robinson – Walmart/YouTube

What is your critique of “Win the Holidays at Best Buy (Steve)” and Walmart’s “The Best Holiday Gifts For Kids As Sung By Craig Robinson”? Which spot do you think does a better job of connecting with the chain’s core customer base while also reaching out to prospective shoppers?

Braintrust
"I just don’t see it taking customers away from other chains anymore. Obviously I could be wrong, but I kind of think it is what it is — a $450 million mammoth."
"I don’t care for either of these spots. Neither tries to capture the spirit of the holidays, preferring to focus on spending. The Best Buy spot is designed to appeal to tech buyers, while Walmart features toys."
"Walmart wins. Why? Because people first gave others "tech" gifts because the recipient didn’t have a particular tech item. The Best Buy ad didn’t provide an example of must-have tech."

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14 Comments on "The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Best Buy vs. Walmart"

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Paula Rosenblum
Guest
2 years 18 days ago
Well, I’m not a Walmart shopper but the data out there seems to be saying that tech is in a slowdown (Target also reported weaker than expected electronics sales). So the lack of specificity of the Walmart ad (and showing a couple of quick toys) vs. the “tech” specificity of the Best Buy ad makes Walmart the winner. It attracts its core customer base very well. As for prospective shoppers, I still believe Walmart has captured its prospective market. I just don’t see it taking customers away from other chains anymore. Obviously I could be wrong, but I kind of… Read more »
Max Goldberg
Guest
2 years 18 days ago

I don’t care for either of these spots. Neither tries to capture the spirit of the holidays, preferring to focus on spending. The Best Buy spot is designed to appeal to tech buyers, while Walmart features toys. Neither has a message that would compel me to visit their stores.

Steve Montgomery
Guest
2 years 18 days ago

Walmart wins. Why? Because people first gave others “tech” gifts because the recipient didn’t have a particular tech item. They might have replaced it when a significant upgrade came along or given another, more advanced tech item for the next holiday. Eventually the process had to slow down and it has. The Best Buy ad didn’t provide an example of must-have tech.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
Guest
2 years 18 days ago

Both are such obvious ploys that I do not find either one persuasive. Giving some specific ideas for gifts may give the Walmart ad a slight edge but the Girl Scout example recommending an oven for girls so they can bake turned me off. The Best Buy ad’s appeal of winning at Christmas by purchasing tech products may appeal to some Millennials but the idea of winning at Christmas does not seem consistent with the spirit of Christmas. Obviously I am not in the right demographic for either store because neither ad appeals to me.

Ryan Mathews
Guest
2 years 18 days ago

Steve clearly confuses gifting with personal acceptance and I find Craig and his keyboard a little tiring. One minute it’s cars and the next it’s Girl Scout ovens. Sadly, I’m afraid Craig has jumped the shark in my book.

Since I don’t like either of these spots my vote shouldn’t count for much but I guess Best Buy wins on the message that, “We have stuff and the experts to help you select the right stuff.”

This seems to trump Walmart’s, “We’ve got stuff.”

In my mind service beats stuff, but maybe that’s just me.

Tom Redd
Guest
2 years 18 days ago

Easy win: Walmart. Great song and it fits in with the family. Best Buy is OK, but Craig is a major draw for Walmart and sings as good as me. “Get all your gifts at Walmart!”

Chris Carroll
Guest
Chris Carroll
2 years 18 days ago
Neither of these ads are specifically winning in my book. They are both going after two different personas looking for different solutions. I feel that Walmart is trying to increase their popularity with Millennial shoppers with Craig as he’s a well known comedic actor across the Millennial crowd. However pushing toys for children doesn’t apply to many Millennials at this time. Best Buy is going for the customer service approach to an older generation (45-plus) for people who do not typically research online before heading into a store and need to rely on an in-store professional. Honestly my pick for… Read more »
Dave Wendland
Guest
2 years 18 days ago

Best Buy is my winner of this head-to-head competition. Relatable, targeted and definitely inspiring for the everyday tech buyer … which I believe is the retailer’s primary market. Although I do like Craig Robinson’s appeal and Walmart’s approach, Best Buy still wins my favor.

Carlos Arambula
Guest
2 years 18 days ago
I don’t believe either spot will be used as an example of good advertising. With the aforementioned in mind, I do feel that the Walmart spot does a better job in connecting with the chain’s core consumer since it clearly sells the availability of toys for kids 6-11 at Walmart. The Best Buy spot is a category building spot. It reminds the audience of what a great gift technology can be, but fails to tell them why Best Buy is the retail location to get your gift. Best Buy has a simple message, but overproduced the spot with the visual… Read more »
W. Frank Dell II
Guest
2 years 18 days ago

Best Buy has the better commercial in that it shows results for the shopper. Walmart is nothing more than a “we stock this and that product.”

Lee Kent
Guest
2 years 18 days ago

I too didn’t care for either of them. Best Buy said nothing to me about the holidays. Actually neither of them did. Mmmm The singing left me blah. Nothing catchy or fun about it.

Folks, I can’t bring myself to vote for either of them.

And that’s my 2 cents.

Naomi K. Shapiro
Guest
Naomi K. Shapiro
2 years 18 days ago

No contest.

Walmart’s Best Holiday Gifts For Kids host and message is charming, winning, inviting, specific, and clear. Identifies the demographic, solves the problem, gives specific examples of what to look for, and feels good.

It’s true we all like to please people and be thought of favorably, but Steve in the Best Buy ad is a loser — maybe the demographic they’re aiming for comprises losers? — and there’s a vague profanity in the intro I caught on the third time through which is neither attractive nor clever for a national ad. This ad has a feeling of pathos and desperation. Dark.

Daryle Hier
Guest
Daryle Hier
2 years 18 days ago

Didn’t particularly like either ad, as they remind me of how terribly far advertising has fallen.
I no longer have a clue as to what kind of store Best Buy is, but I guess it’s tech. However that’s a terrible Christmas ad.

The Walmart ad is selling a certain demo, although I’m not sure they did it very well.

Walmart wins in a split decision. Ugh!

Howard Davidson
Guest
2 years 7 days ago
This is like asking which is better — a poke in the eye or kick in the shins. Could these ads have runs anytime absent the Xmas references and color palette? Sure could. Do they instill a warm emotional feeling consistent with the holidays — is this a store I WANT to shop during the holidays? Neither does it for me. I think they are lazy, simplistic (I mean come on — “Get all your gifts at Walmart” as a jingle line is like 1980s advertising!). Has anyone seen what John Lewis in the UK produces annually? Or IKEA? Or any number of… Read more »
wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"I just don’t see it taking customers away from other chains anymore. Obviously I could be wrong, but I kind of think it is what it is — a $450 million mammoth."
"I don’t care for either of these spots. Neither tries to capture the spirit of the holidays, preferring to focus on spending. The Best Buy spot is designed to appeal to tech buyers, while Walmart features toys."
"Walmart wins. Why? Because people first gave others "tech" gifts because the recipient didn’t have a particular tech item. The Best Buy ad didn’t provide an example of must-have tech."

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