retail

Brands Set Off on All Out Marketing Blitz in Race for Black Friday Sales

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2013 07:02 PM

Thanksgiving is a time to share with loved ones, express gratitude, and take stock of the ad frenzy that is holiday shopping. And with brands turning the clock forward on Black Friday promos, marketing teams are in an all-out race to grab the attention of savings-hungry consumers. 

According to research from Shareablee, of the top 25 retailers on Facebook in the first half of November, Walmart accounted for 27 percent of the total shares by fans, followed by QVC with 9 percent, and Macy’s and Nordstrom at 8 percent. On Twitter, BestBuy is dominant with 30 percent of retweets in the category, followed by Nordstrom at 9 percent, Ebay and Target at 8 percent respectively and Walmart at 6 percent.

Target has outpaced all retail competition with six times more Black Friday posts than any other brand, while JCPenney’s one Black Friday post earned the highest level of engagement with over 54,000 likes, comments and shares.  

Are you planning on braving the crowds? If so, here's some offers to keep an eye out for:Continue reading...

campaign tactics

Are Kmart Execs 'Shipping' Their Pants Over Reaction to 'Show Your Joe' Ad?

Posted by Dale Buss on November 25, 2013 07:47 PM

Kmart has attracted enormous attention and generated lots of pithy remarks with its latest pun-ny TV ad, "Show Your Joe," which features six underwear-clad men ringing hand bells and "tolling" the stuff under their shorts to music as well, in no uncertain terms. But are the ads really giving Kmart a bigger share of holiday spending, or even selling more of the Joe Boxer briefs featured in the ad?

As Kmart struggles—even more than most other US retailers—with stagnant sales and fading brand equity, the temptation to push the envelope in its advertising even further was just too great for the Sears-owned brand and its agency, DraftFCB. Over the last several months, Kmart managed to create lots of buzz with earlier tongue-in-cheek commercial treatments titled "Ship My Pants" (say it out loud) and "Big Gas Savings" (likewise).

But "Show Your Joe" leaves nothing to enunciation or imagination. Wearing tuxedo jackets on top and only Joe Boxer briefs on the bottom, the guys swivel their hips ringing out "Jingle Bells" while things violently sway back and forth under their shorts. No surprise that the ad had received more than 13.5 million hits on YouTube as of Nov. 25.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Chrysler, LG, Microsoft and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 21, 2013 09:21 AM

In the News

Chrysler eyes December IPO.

LG investigates "unauthorized spying" claims. 

Microsoft builds line of products, apparel around "Scroogled" marketing campaign.

Abercrombie & Fitch reports loss on weak sales.

British Airways fields billboard ads that interact with planes overhead.

CCTV grapples with ad slowdown in China.

Foursquare opens up home screen to big brands.

IKEA is investigated in France for labor issue.

McDonald's plans no national launch for McRib this year.

Mondelez invests $100 million in Czech biscuit plant and expands presence in Pakistan.Continue reading...

retail

Kmart, Others Seen as Crossing the Line as Holiday Promos Encroach on Celebrations

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 6, 2013 04:55 PM

What happens when commerce trumps tradition? A lot of angry consumers (and employees).

That's what major retailers Kmart, Macy's, Walmart, Kohl's and others are finding out as they continue to blur the line between the Thanksgiving holiday and the major shopping event that is Black Friday. Kmart has put itself in the line of fire as it recently announced that it will open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open for 41 straight hours through 11 p.m. Friday. Sears, too, will open up at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open through Friday, while Macy's bowed under pressure and for the first time, will open its US stores on Thanksgiving evening. Last year, Target fielded a steady stream of backlash after announcing it would open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. 

The trend is no doubt a reaction to the sluggish retail market as brands fear the lack of spending will continue through the 2013 holiday season. Brands are so worried, in fact, that they are not only launching their holiday campaigns early, but also their special holiday deals. Walmart kicked off its online promotion last week—one month earlier than usual. 

But their concerns aren't unfounded. A National Foundation for Credit Counseling poll found that 53 percent of shoppers plan to spend less on holiday gift giving this year than they did in 2012, with one-third planning to spend nothing and only 3 percent intending to spend more.Continue reading...

retail

Sears Begins Shedding Core Pieces of Business In Last-Ditch Survival Bid

Posted by Dale Buss on October 29, 2013 05:27 PM

It doesn't feel like that long ago that Sears and Kmart stood astride American retailing like twin Goliaths, and Walmart and Target were the pipsqueaks Davids. Now comes yet another reminder of how far the two erstwhile leaders—since sadly intertwined in one fading company—have fallen and how close they are to disappearing into the dustbin of US brand greatness.

Sears is now weighing spinning off its Lands’ End brand and auto-center units from the company to raise cash amid dwindling revenue and to focus more on its Sears and Kmart stores. The company already has sold leases for its flagship stores in Canada and is continuing to evaluate all US retail locations.

“How much more muscle can you cut?” Paul Swinand, an analyst for Morningstar in Sears’ hometown of Chicago, said to Bloomberg, about the unprofitable retailer controlled by Edward Lampert. Sears’ survival tale has been obscured lately only by the relative roller-coaster ride taken by long-time rival JCPenney.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Red Bull, Sears and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 29, 2013 09:23 AM

In the News

Apple sees profits fall despite higher sales of iPhones and offers disappointing holiday forecast.

Red Bull is subject to big wrongful-death suit.

Sears considers spinning off Lands End unit.

Air Serbia launches in Europe.

Boeing considers non-union plant for 777x.

Burger King may rescue corporate cousin Heinz after McDonalds ketchup snub.

Consumer Reports drops Toyota Camry from its recommended list over crash test.

GM lifts Opel marketing in Russia.

Google amends EU antitrust proposals as it looks to triple number of Glass testers and prepares to launch smartwatch. 

Guess signs first Indian model, Priyanka Chopra, as new brand ambassador.Continue reading...

brand inspiration

Hyundai, Diehard, Even 'Carrie' Hope Their Marketing Memes Last as Long as the Undead

Posted by Dale Buss on October 18, 2013 05:43 PM

The zombie marketing meme seems to be lasting as long as the creatures themselves. Witness the unexpiring hookup between Hyundai USA and The Walking Dead, and a new campaign by—who else?—Diehard Batteries as the latest examples.

Maybe Sears learned something from its zombie-related marketing effort on behalf of its store brand three years ago. In any event, its clever new ad features a couple in distress, the requisite zombie horde, and an unlikely hero: the battery that starts the getaway truck presumably after years of sitting idle.

Meanwhile, Hyundai now has committed to an endless relationship with the hit zombie series The Walking Dead, which started its new season on AMC last weekend as the most popular show on US cable television.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Hyundai, Twitter, NBC and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 16, 2013 09:17 AM

In the News

Hyundai plans to launch performance sub-brand.

Twitter chooses tech-heavy NYSE for IPO even as losses widen.

NBC holds viewer lead early in new TV season.

Advance Auto Parts plans to buy Carquest parent for $2.04 billion.

Alibaba nears Facebook sales but with double the profit. 

Alitalia faces tough conditions on refinancing from Air France, KLM and others.

Apple cuts orders of low-cost iPhone 5C as it confirms Oct. 22 iPad event. 

Burberry transition poses tough test for new CEO.

Chrysler stars Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera in latest ad.

Domino's leans on digital innovation, not just new products.Continue reading...

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