The holidays will look a lot different this year for Macy’s. The department store chain will not be hosting Santa or Santaland due to COVID-19 restrictions, and its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade will be a televised show, rather than an in-person event. The chain’s holiday spot also takes a different route this year, going in a product-driven direction rather than following a larger emotionally-laden narrative arc. “In Dad’s Shoes,” a 60-second spot debuting Sunday, follows a young girl who walks in her father’s shoes so she can understand what to get him for a present. She ends up with a pair of knit socks from Macy’s.
In recent years, Macy’s has pursued more big, dramatic narratives for its holiday campaign. Last year, in "Santa Girl," a young girl named Virginia (a nod to Macy’s "Believe" campaign), longs to play the role of the big man in red. Two years ago, Macy’s ran a sad spot about a female astronaut away from her family during the holidays.
Macy’s worked with BBDO NY on the spot, which will run alongside 15-second product-focused spots through the coming weeks.
Struggling with sales even before the pandemic, Macy’s has had a hard time restoring in-person sales. Though the chain’s most recent earnings report offered a glimmer of hope. For the quarter ended Aug. 1, sales were $3.6 billion, a 34% decline over the year-earlier period, but online sales were up 53%. Physical store sales fell 61%. Macy’s will report third quarter earnings Nov. 19.