Kohl's is adding emotional broadcast spots to its holiday mix, in a bid to stand out from the promotional maelstrom of the season.
A year ago, the retailer's entire campaign, from Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson, New York, featured specific messaging about savings, sales and Kohl's Cash -- coupons earned by spending certain amounts at the retailer -- in addition to featuring specific products. Not so this year. A new ad breaking Monday features a couple decorating their elderly neighbor's apartment for the holidays while she's out -- no mention of sales or Kohl's Cash to be seen. Set to a sedate cover of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young," it tugs at the heartstrings.
Michelle Gass, Kohl's chief customer officer, said that last year a true brand spot was "missing from the mix. …We didn't have, as part of our advertising, what I would call a pure brand spot that really spoke to the insights and spirit of the holiday and spoke to our emotional connection [with consumers] and values."
Kohl's will still have plenty of promotional messaging, with a significant chunk of the retailer's holiday budget dedicated to ads that tout value and new products. "It really is the power of 'and,'" Ms. Gass explained. "We're layering this [brand] part in to be disruptive in a different way. During the holiday season, the messages out there are all about selling and promotion -- we'll be in there with the rest of them, and we'll get our word out. But we know what people remember are the moments of giving."