Macy's Uses Media Muscle to Push App, Other Services

Watch the Spot: Helpful Robot Replaced by Mobile Phones

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Macy's is using national ads to promote a variety of services this fall, including its app.

It's a new approach for the department store retailer, which has typically focused on sales or exclusive celebrity lines from the likes of Martha Stewart, Usher, Donald Trump and others in its ads. In the new round of ads, Macy's will promote its app, the ability to have out of stock items shipped directly to consumers and the My Macy's local merchandising strategy with national TV spots. In 2011, Macy's also ran an ad supporting its use of QR codes.

The new approach is intended to remind consumers of Macy's omnichannel capabilities in advance of the holiday season. The ads will use the existing "What's in store" theme, which features Harold the store manager and was launched last year.

"We have been taking a look at how successful the 'What's in store' campaign has been and figuring out how to extend the messaging to cover other topics that are important to us," explained Jennifer Kasper, group VP-digital media at Macy's. "Communicating that we're an omnichannel retailer is one of the challenges we faced going into this season."

Macy's is putting its muscle behind promoting its app, in particular, running a national contest from Sept. 22 to Oct. 5. Consumer who have downloaded the app can play a Match & Win game for a chance to win a gift card worth up to $500.

"We have over two million downloads of the app to date, but we know engagement is considerably more important," Ms. Kasper said, noting the first version of the app launched in 2009. "Going into the fourth quarter we're trying to increase the number of downloads but also give people a chance to engage with the app and get familiar with it."

Ms. Kasper declined to comment specifically on consumers' engagement levels with the app, though she noted the percentage of consumers using mobile devices in stores is "staggering to us." Macy's does not break out online or mobile sales.

The 30-second spot promoting the app will debut on Sept. 22 and run through the fall. It features "Mr Macy 3000" a robot created by a well-intentioned associate to help customers with price checks and coupon offers. Harold, the store manager, explains the Macy's app can do all that and more. JWT, New York is Macy's creative agency.

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