Best Buy’s Worst Commercial?

Christmas is retail’s last chance to increase their profits for the year. So they tend to pull out all the stops. This is the season when you’ll get the craziest commercials advertising the ‘best bargains’. From a marketing perspective, it’s the time to bring your ‘A’ game. The only other time retailers are trying this hard, they have a Super Bowl spot.

The goal of a good Christmas commercial is to show that your company  has great gifts for good prices and encourage a behavior of giving. You want the customer to feel good about what their purchasing.

This is a current Best Buy commercial:

It succeeds in advertising gift ideas for good prices. But then instead of encouraging a behavior of giving or making people feel good about themselves, it appeals the competitive nature of people. Worse, it appeals to competing against someone who is basically universally liked. It’s like having an arm wrestling competition against a baby. We don’t really want to be the customer in the commercial. And if we don’t want to be the customer, then why would we buy the product?

A better way to use this same concept in a commercial is to take the focus off of Santa. We like Santa. We don’t want to beat him. We want to help him. So instead of ‘Game On, Santa.’, why not focus on Santa’s helpers? I mean if you’re hellbent on appealing to humanity’s competitive nature for a Christmas ad (which I don’t think is a very good idea), the way to do it is to show Santa asking his elves what they’ve made for gifts for a family. They show little wooden toys they’ve cobbled together. Then have Mom there with the Kindle Fire and various other gadgets from Best Buy. Now Mom has helped Santa by shopping at Best Buy.

Marketing is fairly simple. Too often marketers try to get too clever with it and fail. Answer these questions in as quick and entertaining a manner as you can:

Why does the customer need the product?

Where can the customer get the product?

Why is yours the better product?

Necessity, availability, quality and value. That’s what it comes down to. These Best Buy commercials fail right out of the gate by not giving you that necessity. You don’t need to beat Santa. You need to BE Santa.

– Jack Cameron