Sears is unleashing a series of new TV ads starring NFL quarterback Brett Favre, and while his comic timing may not quite be equal to rival Peyton Manning, he's got that deadpan thing down cold.
The new spots feature a Sears Blue Crew associate trying to sell Favre a TV. "You like football?" he asks. "It's ok," the Minneapolis Vikings star replies. "You know, a little bit." In another, they talk about Brett's big man hands; in another, they kick around the spelling of Jai alai; another involves a debate about green vs. purple, and one ends with: "Maybe I'll see you in Miami."
"We haven't decided yet if we will be on the Super Bowl, but we'll be on heavily during both playoff games this weekend, as well as on post-game shows," Karen Austin, Sears SVP, and president of its home electronics divisions tells Marketing Daily.
The ads are a follow-up to a spot Favre did for Sears last year, which played off No. 4's now-legendary retirement flip-flop. Austin says she came on board about a year ago, and was struck by how long most consumers shopped around before committing. "The average consumer spends about seven months deciding," she says, "so we launched the Blue Electronics Crew to get their questions answered. That spot really helped us convey that you don't need to worry about being indecisive."
The new spots are funnier, a decision Austin says stems from the recession. "We filmed these when economic conditions were still pretty rough, and that means humor really resonates with people."
With Minneapolis one of the four teams still in the running for Super Bowl XLIV (44), the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based retailer is hoping the star will drive traffic to its TV packages, which include a $500 Zenith 42-inch Plasma TV, a savings of more than $150, and a $1,600 Samsung 46-inch LED TV -- a $900 reduction. It's also giving away seven-inch tailgate TVs to the first 444 people who buy a TV from Sears.com on Jan. 24. And it's offering 8% -- that's from "doubling down with No. 4," explains Austin-- off all TVs that are 46 inches or larger.
The new Sears ads are scheduled to break Jan. 24, and shoppers can vote for their favorites at sears.com, where they can also enter to win a gift card as part of the TV MatchMaker sweepstakes.
Best Buy, meanwhile, hopes to leverage its Geek Squad for Super Bowl, taking the wraps off specially priced TV packages, backed by the in-home support. Among the offers: A 46-inch Samsung model for $1,599.99, a savings of $900. Toss in a Samsung soundbar, WiFi Bluray player, Rocketfish HDMI cable, and Geek Squad installation, for $1,999.99 -- at a savings the Minneapolis-based retailer says is more than $1,400.
Target, in a woman-friendly nod to the Super Bowl's gradual encroachment on Valentine's Day, says it will launch SuperValenBowl, which includes extensive savings on TVs, as well as its new home installation services.
One of the reasons there is so much promotional activity, Austin says, is that as price points have dropped, "it's clear that many people still haven't upgraded to an HD TV, and more and more consumers are able to come into the market."