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Dive Brief:

  • Kohl’s unveiled a holiday campaign that focuses on value and a diverse product assortment as consumers contend with a tough economy, per a press release.
  • “More Gifts. More Savings.” tries to brighten the mood with vibrant spots running on TV and streaming set to Earth, Wind & Fire’s “December,” a version of “September” reworked for the winter season. The effort also includes a heavy digital component.  
  • Kohl’s is promoting shoppable influencer gift guides through its website and leveraging social media creators to share savings hacks. The retailer is also taking advantage of features on TikTok, Pinterest and Meta Platforms’ apps to push deals and perks like its Kohl’s Cash program.

Dive Insight:

With the turn of the calendar into November, holiday marketing is primed to kick into high gear. Kohl’s latest campaign feels indicative of the messaging and media strategies retailers will adopt as they try to win over exhausted consumers who are wrestling with inflation. The media blitz brings high-energy, colorful ads that try to capture the seasonal sentiment, while the promotional emphasis is squarely on deals and rewards. 

“Value will be more important than ever to the millions of customers” this season, said Kohl’s chief marketer Christie Raymond, who was formally promoted to the role in August after serving as interim CMO, in a press statement.

Along with traditional commercials and media partnerships with events including The National Dog Show and FIFA World Cup, Kohl’s is trying its hand at a number of mobile-first tactics. Kohl’s in an email cited Deloitte survey data that suggests 34% of consumers expect to use social media in their holiday shopping journey this year. 

The department store chain is testing a new interactive add-on for TikTok’s TopView advertising format that prompts users to shake their phone to reveal a surprise deal around Black Friday, with a spotlight on the retailer’s recently expanded Sephora partnership. In December, the campaign will introduce a custom Branded Effect to the ByteDance-owned app that lets users highlight Kohl’s Cash in their content. 

An augmented reality lens on Facebook and Instagram also markets Kohl’s Cash and is gamified to let users pick out their favorite gifts from the retailer. Kohl’s Cash is receiving heavier support throughout the period, as are the Kohl’s website and mobile app as the brand tries to create a stronger omnichannel experience. This year also brings a new Build-a-List Sweepstakes into the fold that encourages customers to create and share a shoppable digital list for the chance to win a $250 gift card through Dec. 7. 

On the inspiration front, Kohl’s.com is hosting gift guides created by influencers to drive more e-commerce traffic. Pinterest also factors into “More Gifts. More Savings.” with a search tool that lets consumers pick their preferred color palette and then jump to Kohl’s.com to peruse outfits with a similar visual theme. 


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