A girl steps into her dad's shoes in Macy's holiday ad

Spot from BBDO New York arrives as retailer cuts back on its big events

Published On
Nov 06, 2020

Editor's Pick

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.