RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: The Final

Discussion
Sources: Nordstrom, Amazon, Gap, P.C. Richard & Son
Dec 28, 2017
George Anderson

After six weeks of head-to-head competition, it’s time to pick this year’s winner of the RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge. The winners on a week-by-week basis include:

Nordstrom’s “Choir! Choir! Choir!,” which won its week one matchup with Macy’s. Dick Seesel, principal, Retailing in Focus, said the spot sent “an upbeat, accessible message celebrating its own associates (which are a key part of the store’s brand ‘formula’)”.

Week two saw Big Lots beat Kohl’s. The discount retailer’s “Share the Joy” commercial was praised by Neil Saunders, managing director, GlobalData, for being “personal and intimate” and celebrating “the importance of family and friends.”

Amazon.com’s “Give” singing boxes commercial outdid Walmart in week three. Mohamed Amer, global head of strategic communications, consumer industries, SAP, said, “Amazon’s commercial connects emotionally as it humanizes the supply chain as it fulfills your hopes and dreams.”

Week four saw Gap’s “To Making Music and Magic. To Perfect Harmony.” receive kudos from RetailWire’s BrainTrust and crush H&M’s spot featuring Nicki Minaj. Jeff Miller, director of marketing, OceanX, said, “The Gap commercial is catchy, says that they have what I need and even (wait for it) shows the products they are selling.”

Home Depot won its head-to-head with Lowe’s in week five. Kevin Graff, president, Graff Retail, said, Home Depot’s spot “touches on the experience of the holidays and builds emotion. That’s the big hammer brick-and-mortar retailers need to swing to survive.”

Last week’s matchup went to P.C. Richard & Son over Best Buy, although commentators only seemed to see it as the slightly better of two uninspiring spots.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Which of the weekly winners in this year’s RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge do you think was the most effective? Why?

Braintrust
"Home Depot is most effective — it has a good message, is entertaining and shows their product(s) being use to provide more Christmas-y gifts."
"Overall it’s Home Depot for me — it brings the build-up to Christmas."
"All were entertaining but Amazon was great at bringing home the end-end benefit — giving a gift that thrills/excites."

Join the Discussion!

12 Comments on "RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: The Final"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Dick Seesel
BrainTrust

I’ll stick with the Nordstrom spot. Not the most creative (arguably that honor belongs to Amazon), but very effective in highlighting both its associates and its merchandise in a warm-hearted way.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t single out Walmart’s yearlong campaign that culminated in some smashing holiday ads — even if they weren’t part of this year’s competition!

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

I’m going with Amazon — all were entertaining but Amazon was great at bringing home the end-end benefit — giving a gift that thrills/excites.

Max Goldberg
BrainTrust

My vote goes to Amazon. The spot emphasizes the best aspects of its brand (speed, ease, variety) in a fun spot. The campaign seemed to work, as Amazon’s holiday sales soared.

W. Frank Dell II
BrainTrust

Overall it’s Home Depot for me — it brings the build-up to Christmas.

Naomi K. Shapiro
BrainTrust
  1. Home Depot is most effective — it has a good message, is entertaining and shows their product(s) being use to provide more Christmas-y gifts. It’s upbeat, entertaining and most connected to their audience.
  2. Big Lots’ Joy to the World is entertaining and has a nice message. But the singers at the beginning are a bit distracting from the rest of the ad, and it falls short of showing product in a meaningful way to meet their audience.
  3. Nordstrom — The singing is entertaining and nice. It features associates, but ends there.
  4. Gap — There’s too much singing and too many stripes, not much to relate to beyond that.
  5. Amazon — If you’re turned on by singing boxes … and no content regarding product.
  6. P.C. Richard & Son — It’s nice to see a hero (woman), but the spot doesn’t inspire with a lot of spirit.
Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

So many feels. It’s Home Depot for the win!

Ed Rosenbaum
BrainTrust

Amazon gets my vote with Home Depot a distant second. Amazon takes us on a ride from order to delivery.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

Thin gruel: as was noted at the time or “times”… each week, all of the ads seemed to place an emphasis on “WOW!” at the expense of actually doing what an ad is supposed to do: make you give your $$$ to a particular company.

Oh for the ads of my childhood that actually accomplished both!

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust
Doug Garnett
President, Protonik
3 months 27 days ago
I voted for Home Depot despite the fact I think it gets very lost when the story leaves Home Depot and enters a world of Kohl’s. But it is fundamentally good. Overall I was quite disappointed by the entire array of ads. They showed a blandly uniform group think among the agencies — emphasizing “feel good” movie making and de-emphasizing the fact it’s an advertisement. And that never drives good results — short term OR long term, in my experience. Let’s go back to the fundamental premise of creative advertising: If you take the brand out of the ad and it still works then it’s a failure. On that basis, these were all swappable – even Home Depot’s despite a decent start. The Gap ad had some good uniqueness – but it opens like an Old Navy ad with what looks like Old Navy clothing. So they fail. The Amazon ad was most unique…except swap the packages for packages from Walmart, Nordstrom, or anyone else and the ad still works just fine. So it fails the… Read more »
Min-Jee Hwang
BrainTrust

I’m going to go with Amazon on this one. They were able to create a sweet story around their product offerings, showing how easy it is to get the perfect gift for a loved one and put a big smile on their face.

Dave Nixon
BrainTrust

Amazon for the win! Best use of memorable music, imagery and “feels” to reinforce the brand message of Amazon and giving.

Yoav Vilner
BrainTrust
3 months 25 days ago

My vote goes to Nordstrom. Their spot is personal, creative and it really represents the Christmas spirit.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Home Depot is most effective — it has a good message, is entertaining and shows their product(s) being use to provide more Christmas-y gifts."
"Overall it’s Home Depot for me — it brings the build-up to Christmas."
"All were entertaining but Amazon was great at bringing home the end-end benefit — giving a gift that thrills/excites."

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