What's at the top of Overstock's holiday wish list? Connecting with consumers. So, for the first time, the 17-year-old e-commerce company has tapped an ad agency—the Richards Group—for its holiday campaign this year. Overstock formerly did the bulk of its marketing production in-house.
"Any company can come up with great campaigns, but for us, it's about re-establishing that connection with consumers and being consistent for years to come," said Natalie Malaszenko, who joined the Salt Lake City-based company as senior VP-marketing last year. "This is the first real expression of where we're headed as a company with our brand."
Overstock is running a total of five TV spots, each in 15-and 30-second formats, beginning Nov. 1. In one commercial, a little girl asks Santa for a "Julian modern buffet from Furniture of America with open shelving, a sliding glass door and a built-in wine rack" as her mom stage-directs in the background. The ads are a departure from Overstock's previous spots, which had less of a narrative and were more promotional in cadence. The company will boost the effort on social channels and emails, and offer sweepstakes for customers' wish lists.
Ms. Malaszenko noted that the brand began working with Dallas-based Richards Group more than six months ago.
"The work was born from a common truth during the holidays—we all want our homes looking their best for our guests, and we also have plenty of gifts to check off our list, but how can we afford it all?" said Dave Kroencke, principal at the Richards Group, via email.
Last year, Overstock spent $4.1 million on measured media in the U.S. in November and December, according to Kantar Media. This year, Ms. Malaszenko noted that the brand is "putting a little more money in the cookie jar."
On a recent conference call, Overstock founder and chief executive Patrick Byrne noted that the company has a "more solid" marketing team than ever before and is well positioned to improve its marketing in the months to come, particularly with younger consumers.
"We really have saturated our brand awareness with older people, but younger people did not have a full impression of us," he said on the call.
For the quarter ended July 30, Overstock reported an 8% jump in revenue to $418.5 million, along with a net loss of $904,000, compared with a profit of $1.7 million in the year-earlier period. Sales and marketing expenses for the quarter were up 19% to $33.4 million.