It’s simple arithmetic: 2012 holiday spending is estimated total $586.1 billion, a 4.1% growth over last year. As a result, marketers are challenged to add more impact to their normal paid marketing executions and aim to inspire word of mouth. Love it or hate it, the new Chanel No. 5 ad featuring Brad Pitt spouting a monologue better suited for Ethan Hawke circa 1994 has succeeded in the best way: it’s got consumers talking, and not just female consumers (the perfume’s intended audience), but the men who love them, too. The ad is projected to drive holiday sales for the luxury brand, and smart marketers should take notice. As noted last week, the National Retail Association has estimated that the majority of this year’s holiday spending – some 51.8% – will take place online, as consumers forgo the in-store shopping experience in favor of the comfort and convenience of shopping from home, or more likely, a mobile device. As of September 2012, the number of smartphones in use worldwide was 1.03 billion, up 47% from the same time last year. That number is projected to double by 2015. It makes sense, then, that Black Friday previews from stores such as Wal-Mart featured online exclusives that had tongues wagging. Brad Pitt isn’t the only one who inspires spending.
Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but it seems like the key to Black Friday success is no longer a secret; by giving consumers something to talk about – whether it be an ad or promotional campaign – brands and businesses fuel excitement and word of mouth. Spending is almost secondary (almost).
One brand that consistently creates compelling and unique advertising content and marketing efforts is Dove. Already noted for its campaigns from recent years featuring real women instead of models, the beauty brand has launched an Ad Makeover campaign, which uses a first-of-its kind Facebook app to allow users to create their own ads which the brand then pays for and shows to other Facebook users. Could this be the wave of the future for online as content? Only time will tell, but in the meantime perhaps no other social network is better primed for fueling holiday spending than Pinterest. In our image-driven world, the pinboard-style photo-sharing network has created a unique way for brands and consumers to curate products that interest and ideas that inspire. Despite the fact that some 80% of the network’s users are female, brands could bode well by pulling a Chanel and getting men into the pinning spirit, too. One article was quick to point out that Pinterest isn’t doing itself any favors by sporting pink background pages and what feels like a girly logo. Still, across the pond, UK users are less divided in terms of gender. One study reported that not only are UK men pinning with interest, but they tend to be wealthy to boot.