Macaulay’s reprisal of his iconic role and other marketing campaigns that have become practically synonymous with Christmas
Welcome to the Marketing Minute, a carefully curated rundown of our favorite things sizzle-worthy in marketing news. Check out the marketing trends and headlines that made our heads turn this past month…
In this edition:
- He’s eating junk and watching rubbish. You better come out and stop him…
- The lengths people went to score a ticket to Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour…
- Disney’s curious approach to ticket sales has us stumped…
- Marketing campaigns that have become synonymous with Christmas…
- The weirdest commercial we have seen in a minute…
He’s Home Alone Again…But This Time As A Middle-Aged Man (Who Still Lives With His Parents. 🤔)
Chances are, you can rattle off a list of Christmas movie classics on demand. And when you do, Home Alone is on it. I mean, who can resist 10-year-old Macaulay Culkin’s antics, right?
Guess what? Google knows you have a soft spot in your heart for this flick, and they used it to their advantage with their latest commercial featuring a grown-up Culkin.
The ad takes us on a quick walk down memory lane as we watch a very grown-up Kevin jump on the bed (again), but this time, adulting at the highest level as he uses Google Assistant to set a reminder to wash his sheets (while he grapples with the pain of his aching back.) Then, we see him use his Google Assistant to have a chat with the pizza delivery guy on his doorstep while watching his favorite movie, “Angels With Dirty Faces” and making sure the modern-day pizza delivery dude hears the iconic line, “Keep the change, ya filthy animal.” And on and on it goes. Check it out for yourself.
Nostalgia sells. By combining the fond memories of yesteryear with the way we live today, you’ve got a recipe for virality and a slew of customers who understand the benefits of owning your product. Also, it seems advertisers are finally accepting the fact that millennials are legit adults now, many with kids of their own and high salaries that allow for discretionary spending on things like Google Assistant. We’d be wise to keep this in mind if our target audience includes those aged 26-41. Finally, in addition to knowing about the soft spot in your heart for Home Alone, Google also knows everything else about you…but that’s something to discuss in another blog.
Let’s Talk About Tay Tay
Unless you are hiding under a rock, you probably heard tell of how ticket sales opened for Taylor Swift’s upcoming “Anti-Hero” tour–the debacle has already become practically a music history legend.
It came after a long hiatus–and “Swifties” rose to the occasion. Parents gave their kids “sick notes” to stay home from school and wait in the virtual queue for tickets. Programmers tried to hack the system to figure out their place in line. People waited hours and hours to score a coveted set of tickets to Taylor’s long-awaited return to the live stage.
And in the end, loyal fans won out. Those who had previously bought merchandise from the singer were rewarded for their loyalty with a “boost” in the ticket queue. Others found themselves disappointed. Between a Ticketmaster system groaning under the pressure of it all and gazillions of rabid fans competing for tix, only the very lucky fans scored a seat at the concert.
Taylor Swift has scored a mass of raving fans. But what we love about the ticket sales snafu (all the chaos aside) is that she ensured her most loyal fans were taken care of. By rewarding fans that had actually purchased merchandise in the past, scalpers and other ‘ner-do-wells were thwarted–and those that wanted a ticket most got what they hoped for.
Disney makes headlines… again.
We all know Disney is the king of marketing, but sometimes even they surprise us.
A couple of weeks ago, Disneyland opened sales on their Magic Keys (the program that replaced Annual Passes post-COVID) with no warning. The OC Register was the first to share the news, just 30 minutes before doors opened. Within minutes, the news was everywhere, from Disney Social Media Influencers to major news outlets and everything in between… but not a word from any official Disney social media accounts.
And then, just 28 hours later, doors closed, again with no warning, even for those who had been sitting in a virtual queue for hours and now have nothing to show for it.
If you ask Disney fans, there is a lot Disney did wrong with this launch (and based on more recent news, it seems like this might have been a poorly planned last-ditch effort on the now-former-CEO’s part to bring in some sales). But logistical nightmare or not, we still think there’s much to be learned here.
- Use FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) to your advantage. Opening and closing the door seemingly at random creates an immediate buzz around every launch and leaves your audience with a feeling of “if I don’t act fast I might miss out”; they don’t have time to overthink it, so they just say yes.
- Leverage influencers in your community. Marketing doesn’t always have to cost a ton of money. If there are people in your community who have a big following and are already known and respected online, test letting them spread the word for you organically and see what happens.
Duluth Trading Company Makes Some Weird Christmas Commercials
While some companies bring festive cheer with delightful Christmas cups and holiday movie heroes, Duluth Trading Company has a very different approach.
Duluth trading company isn’t any stranger to unique Christmas Commercials. In 2020 they released a commercial featuring Mrs. Clause hard at work in her workshop. But things got really weird in 2021 when they released a commercial featuring a montage of Christmas-ruining monsters and Santa trapped in a snow globe.
This year, the chaos has intensified in their take on the classic Christmas song, Carol of the Bells. It’s 30 seconds of pure chaos, with a bush that reminds some of the early internet’s flying spaghetti monster and what looks to be some kind of cross between the fictional Lovcraftian horror-god Cthulu and a chicken.
Our Takeaway: This one is tricky! If you’re familiar with Duluth’s branding, this is very on-brand. Their commercials are often creative, weird, and silly. Plus, this commercial is being pushed hard on YouTube, and if you hear it 8 or 9 times a day, picking out the little wacky things happening throughout the video can be fun and make it less irritating when you hear it. But on the other hand…
What was this commercial for again? What was the company? There is so much happening in this commercial that the message is lost. They only had 30 seconds to tell us what they wanted, and honestly? We’re just confused.
Oldies But Goodies
Are there certain Christmas commercials that seem to usher in the holiday season for you?
Much like A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or The Grinch, these classic commercials hold warm memories for many. Perhaps nostalgia for childhood days of drinking hot cocoa while working on a Christmas list for Santa (while these commercials played in the background).
The Hershey’s Kiss commercial below is 33 years old, yet besides a few technological updates, very little has changed.
It is also clear reading the comments that there are others who love the nostalgia that the commercial gives them:
Another classic Christmas candy commercial in a similar, yet more comedic vein, is the Christmas M&Ms commercial:
Our Takeaway: A successful commercial or marketing campaign that does well during Christmas can be welcomed year after year like a familiar holiday special. Not only because of the nostalgia but also because it is timeless and doesn’t have any specific styles or trends that would set it apart.
Have these marketing campaigns inspired you to ramp up your own marketing game? If you need help figuring out where to start or where to put your energy when it comes to marketing, this free quiz can help.