For its fall advertising campaign, Macy’s is playing it for laughs, introducing a fall campaign spoofing sitcoms.
Themed “What’s in store?,” the spots follow Harold, the store manager just off the boat from Idaho Falls, where he has his hands full of shenanigans, whether it’s Martha Stewart behaving badly or pushback from the high-maintenance Sean “Diddy” Combs. Justin Bieber, Donald Trump, and Taylor Swift all have star turns, and there’s even a guest appearance by sitcom queen Florence Henderson.
“It’s been a few years since we used all our stars as an ensemble cast,” Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer, tells Marketing Daily. And the new effort, from JWT, also subtly shifts the focus away from the famous names, and back onto the Macy’s brand, represented buy the starstruck Harold: “We also have brands that don’t have a face associated with them,” she says, “such as our private-label INC brand, or Levi’s. Those are also very important to us.”
And if Harold bears a strong resemblance to, let’s say, Kenneth Parcell’s character on “30 Rock,” it’s no accident.
“We challenged ourselves to think about what is really important in pop culture, including sitcoms set in the work world, like ‘30 Rock’ and ‘The Office,’” says Reardon. And we thought, 'No one has really done a sitcom about a retail store.’” Subsequent spots will highlight other Macy’s employees, including a fast-talking salesman and a sardonic visual merchandiser.
Much of Macy’s marketing muscle in recent months has been wooing Millennials, and this campaign is certainly a nod to that, breaking on the VMA awards, for example. It’s also a multiplatform effort, including its own sitelet, a YouTube presence, with plenty of mobile and social marketing attached. “That’s what is fun about this,” Reardon says. “Millennials know who Florence Henderson is because of Nick at Nite. But it also speaks to Boomers, who are important to us, too.”
Spots, ranging from 15 to 60 seconds, break nationally this week.