RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Best Buy vs. P.C. Richard & Son

Discussion
"Be the #GiftHero with P.C. Richard & Son, Mom!"
Dec 21, 2017
George Anderson

This week’s RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge is a David and Goliath matchup between P.C. Richard & Son, a 75-store chain selling consumer electronics and major appliances in the New York metro area, and Best Buy, the largest consumer electronics chain in North America with over 1,500 stores.

P.C. Richard, which traces its founding to a hardware store opened in Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst section in 1909, has built its Christmas campaign around the tagline, “Be the gift hero.” The spot features the chain’s selection of gifts to meet the needs of the entire family with expert in-store advice from the P.C. Richard’s staff.

Part of Best Buy’s success in recent years has been tied to its store-within-a-store concepts focused on major consumer electronics brands. The retailer has pulled that messaging into its Christmas “Open This Last” campaign with different spots featuring brands such as ADT, Apple, Google and Lenovo. The spot in competition highlights Apple product offerings at Best Buy along with the chain’s service in support of its customers.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How would you compare the appeal of Best Buy’s “Let’s Hear it for Dad” to P.C. Richard’s “Be the #GiftHero”? Which do you think does a better job of connecting with each company’s core customers while reaching out to new shoppers?

Braintrust
"If the goal is to convince shoppers that your store is the headquarters for family-pleasing gifts, P.C. Richard does a better job."
"Best Buy for sure, as their message was clear: why go to the Apple store when Best Buy has all the latest and greatest Apple products?"
"Both of these ads break through. They are clear about the store, the brands and give reasons to go to the stores."

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12 Comments on "RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Best Buy vs. P.C. Richard & Son"


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Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

Neither one of these worked very well for me. It’s mom being a “hero” because she needs help when she goes to a hardware store versus dad being out running while mom is lounging around watching videos. And I don’t know who P.C. Richard thinks their core customer is, so it’s hard to answer the question. I guess I’d give a slight nod to Best Buy, but I really don’t like either spot.

Art Suriano
BrainTrust

My vote goes to P.C. Richard for being the better of the two spots. As soon as their commercial starts, I know who the brand is, I see the store and I immediately get a feel for the “shopping at P.C. Richard customer experience.” It moves quickly, has some humorous moments and makes me think about P.C. Richard as a place to shop for Christmas. Best Buy’s ad felt a little contrived. It was confusing at times especially when seeing what looked like an Apple store and not a department in Best Buy. I liked that they had their logo on the bottom right of the screen for branding, but I didn’t feel the same warmth and overall great experience.

Dick Seesel
BrainTrust

Neither ad is especially memorable, but I’d give the edge to P.C. Richard. The Best Buy spot is arguably so focused on the Apple products that it neglects pushing its own branding message — after all, you can just as easily buy the same products at your local Apple store. Meanwhile, the P.C. Richard ad makes an effective point of targeting women shoppers instead of the stereotyped positioning of most electronics retailers as “a place for guys.” If the goal is to convince shoppers that your store is the headquarters for family-pleasing gifts, P.C. Richard does a better job.

Meaghan Brophy
BrainTrust

For me P.C. Richard is the winner here. It’s a short commercial, but they manage to highlight their store associates and their diverse product selection, whereas Best Buy (as others have mentioned) seems to use Apple products as a crutch.

Lyle Bunn (Ph.D. Hon)
BrainTrust

The Best Buy/Apple spot does not have the same breadth of brand and story appeal that is achieved by the P.C. Richard spot. Both speak directly to the buying consumer and purchase influencer but the wider range of products featured by P.C. Richard and its offer of associate service make this my preference.

Max Goldberg
BrainTrust

P.C. Richard wins this round, although I don’t care for either spot. Both are pure consumerism. At least the P.C. Richard spot highlights some of the benefits of shopping in its stores.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust
Doug Garnett
President, Protonik
4 months 11 hours ago
Both of these ads break through. They are clear about the store, the brands and give reasons to go to the stores. Which will be most successful? That depends on how well each agency/store understands their customers. Will P.C. Richard’s “mom who needs help” resonate with families who are seeking those gifts? Maybe. Or is there a possibility it offends with a stereotyped mom? Or will the viewer accept the idea that the store associates are this helpful? We would have to know the situation better to know. Best Buy placed their big bet on Apple products and this sports-style appeal to dads. Personally, the tonality is a turn off for me. Yet I’ve sat in many creative meetings where the creative teams think it’s a “big idea.” Still, this style gets attention. The idea of “save it for last” is an interesting way to say “these are meaningful gifts” but that gets a bit lost amid the hype and hoopla. Bottom line? I won’t pick either — both are better than all but the… Read more »
Naomi K. Shapiro
BrainTrust

Everyone wants to be a “hero” and that’s enough for me to think that P.C. Richard & Son nailed it. Best Buy’s focus on Apple products was confusing and so was their slogan “open it last.” That’s not a slogan for winners.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
BrainTrust

Why is it important for the gift giver to be a hero? And why do the electronic presents need to be opened last? The point of either one is about selling products from their store — with everyone retreating into their own space on the holiday. To me that is not a great holiday sentiment so neither were very effective.

Seth Nagle
BrainTrust

Best Buy for sure, as their message was clear: why go to the Apple Store when Best Buy has all the latest and greatest Apple products? Best buy is an established retailer so there’s no need to market their general merchandise, great idea to focus on a specific niche.

P.C. Richard & Son was too bland/cookie cutter compared to the others commercials seen on here.

Lee Kent
BrainTrust

Neither ad had much Holiday sentiment. Both kind of meh. My 2 cents goes to P.C. Richard, I guess. At least they reminded me of who they were and why I might shop there.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

I didn’t really like either of these, since they seemed so narrowly targeted, at least explicitly. Of course I’m sure George is aware of that, and is (intentionally) presenting an apple-to-apples comparison, but in this case it just ended up looking and sounding like two bad apples.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"If the goal is to convince shoppers that your store is the headquarters for family-pleasing gifts, P.C. Richard does a better job."
"Best Buy for sure, as their message was clear: why go to the Apple store when Best Buy has all the latest and greatest Apple products?"
"Both of these ads break through. They are clear about the store, the brands and give reasons to go to the stores."

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