Christmas Creep already as Etsy and eBay run holiday-related marketing
What’s scarier than Halloween? Maybe retailers running holiday ads in mid-September. This week, both Etsy and eBay began running holiday-related messaging. While the latter was poking fun at Christmas Creep—the industry term for holiday merchandise and marketing that takes place far ahead of Thanksgiving—both marketers are trying to draw attention to their brands ahead of the crucial spending season.
On Monday, Etsy, the Brooklyn-based crafts marketplace, began running “Here’s to the Givers,” a campaign that highlights different seasonal products available on its platform and the makers that create them. The push includes a series of 10 30- and 15-second TV spots that will run here and in the U.K., digital ads and a social influencers campaign. Chief Marketing Officer Ryan Scott, who joined in June from pizza platform Slice, says this is the first time Etsy is running TV ads for the holidays. He also notes that consumers think of Etsy for décor ideas throughout the fall season, including for Halloween, so it made sense for Etsy to begin advertising earlier than competitors.
“We felt it was a real offensive strategy to come in at this point of time,” says Scott. “Knowing we touch a lot of people’s hearts and minds during month of September and October as well [as November and December.]” Etsy’s in-house team partnered with Frank Collective on the campaign.
For its part, EBay is pursuing a less conventional strategy. In recent tears, the brand has been more aggressive with rivals, particularly with Amazon around Prime Day, when eBay rolled out a snarky spot that took aim at its Seattle-based competitor. This week, eBay promised consumers it will not run any holiday promotions, ads or until November as part of its “Chill This Holiday” campaign.
It also created a video (not an ad?) to hammer the promise home. In the 60-second spot, produced by eBay and Edelman, a mother and daughter enjoying ice cream have their day darkened—literally—by the early holiday sales. As “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” plays, the video speeds up to demonstrate the rapid pace of the Christmas season. “Outsmart holiday creep. Get deals every day. Not just the holidays,” a series of ending cards recommend.
In a blog post, eBay wrote, “Because eBay sellers offer great deals every day, not just holiday discounts, you can find exactly what you want, whenever you want it.”
Of course, any spots relating to the holidays still qualify as marketing, promotions or no promotions. In recent years, ads from brands like Kmart and Crate and Barrel have run earlier and earlier. The strategy, while hard for consumers still sunburnt from summer to stomach, could have legs. In October of 2018, 63 percent of shoppers were “deal hunting” for early deals, according to a recent Eye on: Retail report from Eyeota, an audience technology platform.
But in 2016, most brands delayed their holiday pushes until after the Nov. 8 election; they didn’t want to lose valuable marketing dollars to Trump and Clinton. So maybe there’s hope for 2020.