Macy's Launches Its Own Little Sitcom


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.


3 comments about "Macy's Launches Its Own Little Sitcom ".
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  1. Kevin Lee from Didit, September 11, 2012 at 10:12 a.m.

    Brands at both the manufacturer level and at the retail level must get into content creation as well as interesting an innovative product placement to break through the clutter. But like being in the movie or TV content creation business the brands must be ready for most initiatives to fail. Blockbusters are hard to crank out consistently.

  2. Lisbeth Kramer from Identities, September 12, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.

    Branded entertainment we know is finally beng realized as a powerful connect in many industries. Macy's in my eyes has been a powerful retailer who has seen the alignment with entertainment from many vantages early on. I absolutely applaud them for leading the pack of original content, partnerships, sponsorships, product deals, full 360 strategies with entertainment as the driving force...ENGAGE with MACY's seems to be a driving force. However, as they raise their product assortment to luxury brands in a bigger way, I am confused as a professional and a consumer who /what they are trying to be.

  3. Dawn Roberts from we-care, September 12, 2012 at 12:39 p.m.

    It's a great concept, but creation of content that actually gains traction doesn't usually come from ad agencies. I think it would have a better chance of being effective if it were produced using real and current sit-com writers. If they want Milllennials, they need Millennials writing it.

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