11.27.2010

Black Friday Marketing: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The Black Friday ads are highly anticipated.  At a near Super Bowl fever pitch, we (marketers and nerds) can’t wait for the first sight of them.  Who will be on top? Will it be someone who is always a leader? Who will open at Midnight? Who will have a 70” HDTV for $50? Oh, I just can’t wait!

This year (2010) there is clear winner for me: Target.  I can barely contain my laughter even as I write this.  Brilliantly led by comedian Maria Bamford and created by Weiden & Kennedy, these ads will surely leave you laughing and hopefully draw in to the bricks-and-mortar stores.  
The TV spots are fresh and a welcomed departure from the usual barrage of “come buy this stuff from us because we have it on sale at ridiculous pricing” that we get from other retailers.  Target hits home with those of us who view the holidays as a stressful, unwelcomed sight.  We must prepare our homes and ourselves to meticulous perfection like some sort of deranged version of Marcia Cross’s Desperate Housewives character Bree Hodge.  We have to make it all seem flawless so that our husbands and homes and children are well-kept, well-fed, well-gifted, and well-presented for the in-laws.  We have to look good and smell pretty while doing it.  Ah, yes, Miss Bamford is our worst fear come to life.  She is holding it all together but clearly she (like us) has lost it. 

Hands-down, my favorite of these spots is the “we open at 4am” spot.  This one features Maria laying in bed on top of the covers with dozens of clocks strapped to her so that she wakes up on time.  Then, in an eery voice, eyes bugged-out, she begins to sing “Carol of the Bells”.  She sounds like a lunatic.  With absolute hilarity – it is brilliant! 

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any funnier, Weiden & Kennedy did it again.  Now they are running a spot that promotes that this sale continues throughout the weekend. It features Maria once again.  This time she is at Target (obviously the 47 clocks strapped to her went off on time and she made it) and she is in the greeting card isle.  She is again singing “Carol of the Bells” but this time she is using actual words (not the real ones).  She sings into the greeting cards that allow the consumer to record a personal message.  She has several cards and sings a different part of the song into each one creating a virtual chorus in the card isle.  My favorite part is as the spot is ending…..take a notice at her facial expression as she exits the scene. I simply cannot get enough of her. Or Target. 




I was already loyal to Target before this but now they’ve sealed the deal.  They know their customers and speak directly to us the way that we want to be spoken to.  Kudos to Weiden & Kennedy for choosing Ms. Bamford.  And kudos to Target for taking this risk.  It worked! 

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