RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Cost Plus World Market vs. Meijer

Discussion
Sources: Cost Plus World Market; Meijer
Dec 20, 2018
George Anderson

The shopping days until Christmas have dwindled to a precious few, but retailers are still using the spirit of the season in their commercial messages in efforts to bond with consumers.  In last week’s RetailWire challenge, Petco used an emotional appeal to win over voters for resounding victory. This week’s matchup includes the 259-store Cost Plus World Market with stores across the U.S. going against Meijer, a Midwestern regional powerhouse and the originator of the supercenter concept.

The Cost Plus World Market spot follows one young boy as he seeks to answer the all-important question of what type of cookie Santa favors. The nearly two-minute spot has been viewed more 3.2 million times.

The Meijer spot features a little dog named Lily who finds herself on the wrong side looking in on Christmas Eve. Santa offers the little pup a lending hand with a magical ending, reminding viewers to “believe.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your critique of the Christmas spots from Cost Plus World Market and Meijer? Which retailer does a better job of connecting with its core customers while reaching out to new shoppers?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"The World Market commercial doesn’t quite tie the story together with the brand the same way the John Lewises of the world do, but wins this contest."
"Kudos for creativity. Poor marks for effectiveness or efficiency."
"When it comes down to it, it is always about emotion and that is good. But there must be a brilliant end play to solidify the name of the business."

Join the Discussion!

14 Comments on "RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Cost Plus World Market vs. Meijer"


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Anne Howe
BrainTrust

I’ve always loved Meijer ads but World Market nailed the “ah-hah moment” when the young boy thinks of the cookie jar! I only wish the mom had been more caring and involved with her son. The two of them on that journey together would have made it to the “teary eyed” status of a great spot!

Dick Seesel
BrainTrust

The Meijer ad is well-produced and certainly has the “spirit of the season” — but in a very generic way. As with some of the other ads we’ve seen in recent weeks, this could be a commercial for anything, rather than something specifically meant to draw people to Meijer.

I don’t think the World Market ad is great, but it accomplishes the goal of telling a seasonal story with humor and heart — and reminding viewers that the store carries a huge selection of cookies (it’s true) and cookie jars, too. So the edge this week goes to Cost Plus World Market.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

The Cost Plus World Market spot is more “commercial” insofar as it highlights actual products. That said, the kid was just a tad too frustrated and angry for my taste in holiday ads and the mom was sort of a Stepford Mother. The Meijer spot was slicker, but was perhaps a tad too “non-commercial” in that it was pure message. Neither of these really worked for me as completely as they could have with a little editing.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
BrainTrust

The Cost Plus ad was a cute story with a clever twist with the boy’s solution of a cookie jar. However, there was no real link with Cost Plus and I agree with Anne about the mom being uninvolved and unfeeling about the concern. The Meijier ad was cute but generic until the end. Santa’s footsteps, and the tag line “believe, we’ve got you covered for everything else” was a clever reason for shopping at Meijer. So my vote goes to Meijer.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

It’s clearly the World Market for the win between these two. The Meijer ad was well produced, however the young boy’s journey and inquisitiveness, along with the right mix of holiday magic has the World Market team in the lead.

It also resonated with me, as I have a very curious five-year-old son who would probably go to these lengths to make Santa Claus happy. With that said, the World Market commercial doesn’t quite tie the story together with the brand the same way the John Lewises of the world do, but wins this contest.

Ed Rosenbaum
BrainTrust

The Cost Plus ad was just OK to me. I was turned off a little with the mother’s response to her son’s question. The Meijer ad was well done and kept my attention. My vote goes to Meijer.

Ken Wyker
Guest

Neither one really did it for me. While watching each one, I found myself imagining how the spot could have been better rather than celebrating how clever it was. If I had to vote, I’d go with Cost Plus only for the linkage to their store.

The cuteness of the kid in the Cost Plus ad was lost when he was “naughty” and kicked over the candy cane prop!

Mohamed Amer
BrainTrust
Mohamed Amer
Independent Board Member, Investor and Startup Advisor
5 months 29 days ago

Call it an unintended consequence, but the apparent indifference of the little boy’s mother in the Cost Plus World Market ad sticks in my mind more than the boy’s over-the-top adventure in seeking the perfect cookie for Santa. A big detractor in an otherwise creative spot.

Meijer’s ad relies on our love our four-legged friends and their unwavering trust and belief in their human parents. It connects to the theme of the spot that all you need is to “believe,” everything else can be found at Meijer. This was well done and engaging.

Thumbs up this week to Meijer!

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
BrainTrust

Not overly impressed by either. A couple of entertaining commercials which fail to link to their related sponsors, therefore negating any attempt to connect with core or new customers. Kudos for creativity. Poor marks for effectiveness or efficiency.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

I liked the concept of the dilemma of finding the right cookie, and then the jar solution, but really it lead me nowhere. The Meijer ad was entertaining and just a little long, but they hit the jackpot in this contest by adding the power of the simple message at the conclusion: “we’ve got everything else you need — Meijer.” When it comes down to it, it is always about emotion and that is good. But there must be a brilliant end play to solidify the name of the business.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

Cost Plus takes care of the fundamentals while also telling a sweet story. So there’s no question my vote goes to Cost Plus.

What fundamentals? Up front they tell us who the ad is from. They take us into the store. The search for cookies is on target with something you’d buy from them. It all adds up around the story.

But Meijer? Sweet story…kind of. But the story doesn’t really add up. We don’t know who the ad is from, and there’s no reason that the ad would bring a viewer to think “I should go to Meijer”.

It’s pretty clear cut to me. And the Meijer ad continues to show the problem of marketers and ad agencies succeeding at sophisticated storytelling but failing at the simplest of jobs: Setting up the consumer so that the ad CAN have impact.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

For me another no-contest: Cost Plus. I had no idea what the Meijer ad was trying to say (and on a side-note: isn’t “believe” Macy’s slogan? Even if it’s not trademark infringement it still seems like an ill-considered choice).

David Naumann
BrainTrust

While both Christmas spots are entertaining, I am not sure if either are good at connecting with customers, reaching new shoppers or even connecting the spot with the brand. Some of the other retailer commercials have done a much better job at evoking feelings and connecting those feelings with the brand.

Allison McGuire
BrainTrust

Both of these videos left me a bit “unfulfilled.” The surprise twist to select a cookie jar didn’t wow me, and I was distracted by the comet-like simulation of Santa and his reindeer. I love a good story, but neither of these impressed me or got me emotionally attached. They could have shown the boy walking into the World Market with his mom to establish the store connection better. Meijer just had the tie-in to their brand at the end. I think World Market wins out for the little boy’s likability and his great acting.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"The World Market commercial doesn’t quite tie the story together with the brand the same way the John Lewises of the world do, but wins this contest."
"Kudos for creativity. Poor marks for effectiveness or efficiency."
"When it comes down to it, it is always about emotion and that is good. But there must be a brilliant end play to solidify the name of the business."

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