Nordstrom Is All Smiles in New Campaign

Seattle-Based Department Store Airs First TV Spot in Three Years

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Models dance in Nordstrom's new campaign.
Models dance in Nordstrom's new campaign. Credit: Nordstrom

Nordstrom is taking its message to TV for the first time in three years. The last time the Seattle-based department store chain ran a TV spot was in 2013. The "See Anew" effort includes TV, print, digital and social media initiatives.

The new work, meant to promote spring apparel and provide an optimistic view of fashion, features smiling models dancing in a kaleidoscopic spin. Mirrors split and spin the dancers in circular motions.

"Fashion at times can be intimidating," said Brian Dennehy, who has been chief marketing officer of the brand for three years. "Our approach was to be happy and accessible and filled with energy and fun. We don't have any desire to put a barrier between fashion and our customer; we want to take that barrier down."

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The 323-unit chain worked with New York-based agency Partners & Spade on the campaign, as well as filmmakers Tell No One of Good Egg. A 30-second spot and a 15-second version will air between Feb. 8 and the end of April in the Miami, Chicago, Boston and Portland, Ore. markets; print ads will appear in March issues of magazines such as Vanity Fair.

Mr. Dennehy said he hopes the new campaign will help Nordstrom acquire younger consumers. "We've been aging down our customer base over the past couple years," he said, though he added that the new ad is also targeting women young in spirit.

He declined to say how much 115-year-old Nordstrom is spending on the campaign, though he did note that the brand is not investing more than in previous years. For the period between February and April of 2015, Nordstrom spent $14.5 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media.

In recent years, as department stores have struggled to remain relevant with shoppers, Nordstrom has diversified its holdings to include more digital offerings. It now owns online site HauteLook and Trunk Club, which started as an ecommerce service but now has five brick-and-mortar locations. Nordstrom had net sales of $3.2 billion for the quarter ended Oct. 31, 2015, the most recent available, a 6.6% rise over the year-earlier period.

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