Retailers Skimp on Post-Holiday Creative, Push Deals

Promotions, Existing Ads Dominate TV Pitches in Late December

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Retailers skimped on new creative post-holiday this year, instead relying on mainly promotional ads.

An exception was Old Navy, one of the few retailers to unveil fresh advertising after the holiday. It offered up a new spot featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus to promote the retailer's after-holiday deals. In the commercial, Ms. Louis-Dreyfus runs out on her massive New Year's resolution board to take advantage of Old Navy's sale.

Macy's is rerunning its 2012 "Week of Wonderful" spot featuring Clinton Kelly from TLC's "What Not to Wear," alongside deal-driven ads for post-holiday sales. Macy's first staked its claim on the week between Christmas and New Year's two years ago and it remains an important time for the company as it looks to capture shoppers using their holiday gift cards and making exchanges.

The popularity of gift cards, in fact, has made late December and January a more important sales season in recent years. Four in five adults planned to purchase a gift card during November 2014, according to the National Retail Federation. And the average person bought gift cards that totaled $173, up from $163 last year.

"With so many enjoying vacation time over the holidays, Macy's 'Week of Wonderful' offers a fun post-holiday shopping experience for customers with great new merchandise from the hottest designers and brands," said Martine Reardon, Macy's chief marketing officer, in a statement.

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Other retailers, like Kohl's, Kmart and J.C. Penney, also ran promotional ads over the weekend, seeking to extend the holiday shopping season with deals and discounts.

The National Retail Federation is expecting sales to increase 4.1% this holiday season over last year, the largest gain since 2011, as a strengthening job market and low gas prices fueled spending.

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