Store wars: wish list competition, Part 1

Zellers and Sears warm up the holiday cheer with contests, events, flyers and social media.

‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through the land, marketers were stirring, creating holiday promotions for their brands.

In a two-part feature, MiC‘s sister publication, strategy magazine, is taking a look at what some of the big players have wrapped into their holiday advertising offensives this year. Today we look at Zellers and Sears, and tomorrow we’ll see what Best Buy and Future Shop are planning for the holidays.


Zellers is taking a heartwarming, yet funny, tone to convince young moms and families that it’s the go-to destination for holiday gifts.

The brand’s holiday campaign, which launched today, includes a chuckle-inducing TV spot featuring home décor, toys, fashion and apparel. Traffic-building radio ads focus on shopping timeframes, while customer appreciation, Moonlight Madness events, the Olympic red mittens and weekly flyers provide specific pushes.

Three glossy magazine-esque flyers are being distributed with national daily newspapers in November and December. One covers off home décor, the second holiday giving and the third is a gifting guide, each one illustrating that Zellers has everything for ‘what’s next’ on your holiday shopping list. Toronto-based John St. crafted the creative for the effort, with media handled in-house.


Sears’ holiday effort concentrates on its point of differentiation: different channels for gift purchase. This entails an online component allowing customers to purchase gifts up to the last minute; the iconic Christmas Wish Book catalogue, which was sent out directly to customers in August; and traditional in-store collateral.

This year it’s incorporating the image of a snowflake, which is featured across all its POS collateral and communication touchpoints, which include TV developed by BBDO and launching later this month, print by Pi Media of St. Joseph Communications and radio by Pirate Radio, both of which launched Nov. 1. Mediaedge handled media.

Sears’ loyalty program gets a holiday boost via a ‘Wish and Win’ contest launched with the catalogue allowing customers the chance to win $10,000 in Sears Card points, Panasonic 3D TVs, or gift cards.

And social media is also in play, including Twitter and a Facebook contest letting customers vote on their favourite Wish Book cover since 1953, as well as a significant CSR element that will see proceeds from various initiatives, like sales of the brand’s 2010 plush charity teddy bear, going to Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.