Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tongue-in-cheek holiday ads shake off the sugarcoating - is this a surprise, or just good advertising?

"We were surprised that a majority of Americans said they like to see Scrooge-like themes, or the naughtier side of things, in holiday ads." That was the statement by Becky Jones, vice president of marketing and research at Viamedia, the Kentucky-based cable advertising sales firm that conducted a recent study on the matter of holiday advertising. Her comments were included in an interesting LA Times piece about holiday ads.

I don't know if this makes me sound like a Scrooge, but is anyone surprised by this? Isn’t this what good advertising should be doing? Being disruptive? Entertaining? Amusing? If it isn’t doing any of these, how will it break through the clutter? How will it get people talking about the brand? And we know there is plenty of clutter around the Christmas shopping season.

Will the "naughty" Jingle Balls spot from K-mart actually make the big K a more interesting place to shop, as suggested by Syracuse University professor Ed Russell? I think that's a bit of a stretch. My local K-Mart could be described in many ways, but "interesting" is not one of them. But in the LA Time piece, he very accurately states this is an ad you would not expect from K-Mart. And that's the whole point. It makes you say, "Hey, that's K-Mart doing that. Maybe they're not so boring these days."

Read the LA Times story - you'll enjoy it.

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