Retailers had a big marketing challenge this holiday season: how to best showcase holiday cheer without using the togetherness that many consumers are lacking due to pandemic constraints. Dick’s Sporting Goods found a fun and clever way to do both in its animated holiday spot, which follows the journey of a series of products getting boxed up in a warehouse and delivered to a child’s Christmas tree. The commercial also highlights Dick’s e-commerce capabilities, which have been on an upswing during coronavirus lockdowns as shoppers buy digitally.
“When people think about Dick’s Sporting Goods, they think about this 50,000-square-foot box—they don’t think as much about the behind-the-scenes, what happens for products to get there,” says Ed Plummer, chief marketing officer of the Pittsburgh-based chain. “We wanted to showcase the technology that drives our business.”
The 60-second spot, set to “Run, Run Rudolph,” shows a Dick’s Sporting Goods distribution center at night. A yellow hoodie, football and sneakers jump off the assembly line and drive themselves to their gifting destination. Dick’s worked with Anomaly on the spot, a continuation of an animated effort from 2019 with "Night at the Museum" director Shawn Levy.
Many consumers on lockdown have increased purchases of sporting equipment and athletic apparel. Plummer expects that trend to continue through the holidays as shoppers stock up on home fitness equipment and top brands including Nike.
The spot will debut during Sunday Night Football this week, a slightly earlier start to the marketing season than in prior years, Plummer says, but one that is in keeping with the timing from other brands. It will run in 60-, 30-, 15- and 6-second versions on a variety of channels including TV and digital. Plummer says the budget for this year’s holiday work is comparable to last year.