Black Friday Woman: Big Lots Hopes To Nail It Again This Christmas

After a Sassy Effort Last Year, the Retailer Reprises Its Woman-Centric Push

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Big Lots brings back its singing trio for holiday campaign.
Big Lots brings back its singing trio for holiday campaign. Credit: OKRP/Big Lots

One of the perils of a catchy holiday campaign: topping it the next time around. For Big Lots, which won acclaim in 2014 for its sassy, mom-centric commercials, crafting an equally memorable message this year is critical. Next week, the Columbus, Ohio-based retailer will launch its new advertising effort "Black Friday Woman," which focuses on women making the holidays special with their bargain-hunting, dollar-saving prowess. Black Friday is every day at Big Lots.

The 60-second ad, which will run online, reprises the same female singing trio, led by America's Got Talent finalist Deanna DellaCioppa, as last year's "Nailing It" campaign. This year, Ms. DellaCioppa is crooning "Black Friday Woman" to the tune of Santana's "Black Magic Woman."

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"It's always hard to top when you've done something really nice," said Andrew Stein, Big Lots' chief customer officer, noting that this year's push takes 2014's campaign to the next level with its songs, choreography and message. "It's one of those things where you say, 'I can't believe no one else has thought of this before,' because it works so effortlessly."

Formerly with Kmart, Mr. Stein was responsible for cheeky puns like "Ship My Pants," and "Big Gas Savings" before joining Big Lots two years ago. In addition to the longer digital ad, Big Lots will also debut 30-second and 15-second spots on TV through November and December, as well as launch an integrated digital and social campaign. The retailer plans to open its 1,461 stores on Thanksgiving -- and Black Friday, of course -- maximizing sales opportunities in advance of its spring ecommerce site debut.

O'Keefe, Reinhard & Paul, Big Lots' agency of record, began work on the project in July, according to Jennifer Bills, creative director at the Chicago-based shop. She noted that she specifically targeted a song from the 70s since it was a decade known for its female empowerment.

"We knew we could take the music to a different place where it might even be bolder," she said. "So we moved it up a few years and put it into a more owning-it decade of women asserting themselves musically."

Mr. Stein declined to mention the cost of the campaign, though he said it is on par with previous years. According to Kantar Media, Big Lots spent $15.4 million on measured media for the holiday period of November and December in 2014.

And last year's campaign did lead to a holiday sales increase, Mr. Stein noted, which means more is at stake for "Black Friday Woman." For the fourth quarter of 2014, Big Lots reported net sales of $1.59 billion, a 1.4% increase over the year-earlier period. Same-store sales were up 2.9%.

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