A holiday roundup: 'Tis the Season

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Advertisers are pulling the wraps off holiday campaigns hawking everything from the Grinch to Staples, but the question is to what degree consumers will buy the pitch. Amid the cheery messages, there's uncertainty about how willing shoppers will be to spend their way through Christmas Eve. But marketers are doing their best to help shoppers empty their wallets. Here's a look at some campaigns of the season.

DRUMMING UP SALES: The Gap, chided by Wall Street over marketing missteps in the fall, turned to Boston startup shop Modernista! and its in- house agency for a half dozen holiday spots. The campaign, primarily aimed at adults, combines visual effects such as these Gap-clad actors floating through space. Other spots show young people in a slow motion snowball fight, accompanied by the tune of "The Little Drummer Boy."

LET IT SNOW: Forget trips to see Santa. If Kmart Corp. is right, then parents should start reading into their kids' snow creations for holiday gift-giving hints. The mass retailer turned to Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis, for the four spots touting its toys, treats and trimmings that started airing last week. Art director: Ann Brimacombe; Copywriter: Jay Caskel.

A SMART COOKIE: Nabisco urges everyone in Whoville to not be a Grinch and to stock up on its crackers brands for the holiday with a tie-in promotion with the Universal Studios' "How The Grinch Stole Christmas." J. Walter Thompson, Chicago, handles. Art Director: Mark Westman; Copywriter: Angie Evans.

SEALED WITH A STAPLE: The "Snowbot," a robotic salesman, works the floor at a Staples store. He can sell customers anything, except for the fax machine. "No, I love her!" he shouts at an inquiring customer, clutching the machine to his tin-can breast. From Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York. Arthur Bijur, exec creative director; Adam Chasnow, copywriter; Jason Gaboriau, art director.

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