Monthly Archives: December 2013

The holiday storefront window:
How to use the power marketing machine


A picture is worth a thousand words? Surely, for the marketer it is worth more.

Holiday window displays are a long held tradition intensified by some of the most famous among them from retailers including Holt Renfrew and Hudson’s Bay in Canada and Macy’s in the U.S.

Today holiday display windows take on a different spin. We’re seeing many retailers throwing away once tried and true techniques in favour of using innovative customer engagement methods to spread the word about their brand and get customers through the doors.

Here are some methods you can use to start the merry buzz about your retail business.

Turn your customers into brand ambassadors. Word of mouth is powerful – encourage your customers to drive conversation about your brand online.

Holt Renfrew provides a good example of how you can get customers to do the leg work for you. After taking a photo on a ski chair lift in the retailer’s Northern Noel display, customers can participate in a contest, by submitting their photos through sharing them on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #MyNorthernNoel and tagging @HoltRenfrew and @SamsungCanada.

This strategy emphasizes that while getting your customers to share your content online you can successfully generate third party endorsements.

Make your customers the centre of attention. In a world where the term ‘selfie,’ (self-portrait) has made it into the Oxford Dictionary – it might be safe to say that the majority of consumers enjoy the spotlight. According to one of the Canadian retailers capitalizing on this notion, is Hudson’s Bay, whose interactive holiday display windows allow passersby the chance to take a photo which is superimposed on the retailer’s holiday scene.

To get the photo, customers need to walk into the store, where they will be, of course, further exposed to Hudson’s Bay variety of products and promotions. This technique can create continued sales from both new and current customers.

Leverage technology. Technology has the power to create real excitement. The Macy’s holiday display at Herald Square in New York City seems to be doing just that. While telling the story of one boy at Christmas, the interactive display has passersby simply move their hand to create snow within the window. The incorporation of technology in a fun way, can get people talking about your brand.


Marketing Was a GOOD Choice:
Why Anchorman 2 is Winning the Internet

Emerson College Renames School Of Communication To "Ron Burgundy School Of Communication"

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The promo campaign for the upcoming movie, Anchorman 2 is…KIND of a big deal. The folks at Paramount, the film’s creator Adam Shankman, and of course, Ron Burgundy himself, Will Ferrell, are taking everything you thought you knew about movie marketing and giving it a stiff shot of “scotchy scotch scotch”.

Since the release of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, the title character has transcended the silver screen to become something of a cultural icon. His lines have become commonplace colloquialisms: stumble into a conversation of men aged 18-34 and an Anchorman reference is almost guaranteed. It’s to the point where I can’t remember language and pop culture references before 2004, which is why it made perfect sense to use social media and the internet, as the main driving forces behind the campaign.

Social media is an anomaly, it has the ability to muffle an idea in to deafening silence or catapult it through the stratosphere. It’s the finicky nature of the platform that makes it enticing to advertisers and why Anchorman 2’s hype is proving successful. Social media allowed Anchorman 2 to build momentum (months before the Dec. 18th release date) through a series of memes, commercials, trailers, and infomercials. By the time an official Anchorman 2 trailer actually hit the airwaves, it was an afterthought behind all the hilarious and original Ron Burgundy online content. Since when is the trailer EVER an afterthought?

One of the most important factors to its success is clear: Paramount knows their audience and what we want. We want Ron Burgundy to be a real person. We want him to be a real anchor that reports the nightly news and stays classy 24/7. And so he is: Ron is anchoring the news desk in North Dakota and doing the play-by-play at the curling “Roar of the Rings” in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Ron is real!

When the credits roll, it doesn’t mean it’s over. The fictional Anchorman ‘world’ may have been born on the big screen, but Ron Burgundy is alive and well and living in social media. Thanks to this campaign, you too can reside in his world. You can still visit Ron’s Tumblr, watch his series of Durango ads, buy his scotch, eat his ice-cream or create your own Anchorman memes. You can be forever entertained. The fact that this world is, in fact, a form of advertising, has been completely lost in the plot.

The numbers prove it! Sales for Durango are up 40% and anticipation for the film couldn’t be higher. It’s a shining example of cross-branding at its finest. Marketers, take a note from Ron Burgundy playbook! His endorsements feel authentic (it really does feel like Ron Burgundy himself, is promoting the products) so we don’t mind being advertised to. Actually, it’s quite the contrary. I personally, have hunted down the Durango commercials and sought out his underwear line because there’s a ton of added value in it for me, the customer.

And that, is the biggest deal of all.