During the last two years, Kohl’s pursued a more emotional approach. In 2020, the chain’s holiday spot, in which a young girl under pandemic lockdown forged a new friendship with an elderly neighbor by communicating through their windows, was one of the season’s most memorable for tugging at the heartstrings. Last year’s spot showed a young boy asking an older relative to dance at the family’s holiday gathering. Both of those ads were created with Yard NYC.
In both the 2020 and 2021 holiday spots, the Kohl’s brand took a backseat to the narrative. This year, that is not the case as executives sought to give Kohl’s, and its promotions, more prominence. Kohl’s worked with Chandelier on the creative direction of the new campaign. Horizon Media, which picked up the chain’s business earlier this year, handled media duties.
Kohl's Cash and TikTok
The marketing push will include linear and connected TV, direct mail and print and a hefty social media presence. Kohl’s is leaning more into TikTok, Raymond said, noting that Kohl’s Cash stands out on social. Customers can highlight Kohl’s Cash in their TikTok videos, and the retailer will also be running an interactive TikTok offering that allows consumers to shake their phones to reveal surprise deals. In addition, Kohl’s is using a gamified AR lens on Instagram and Facebook, and an outfit color match experience on Pinterest.
In its second quarter, Kohl’s saw same-store sales decline 7.7% and net sales fell 8.5% to $4 billion. CEO Michelle Gass called 2022 more “challenging than initially expected.” Kohl’s has also been under pressure this year from activist investors to sell the company. In August, the chain lowered its guidance for the year and predicted net sales would fall between 5% and 6%.