Insights Blog

September 15th, 2015

Hear Those Jingle Bells in the Distance?


Ace Metrix

As in past years, Kmart has kicked off the holiday ad craze when kids are just returning back to school.

Debuting this year on September 7, Kmart’s “It’s Ridiculous” ad plays off the fact that there is a holiday ad so early in the season, and features their no money down layaway or leasing. The ad earned an Ace Score of 560, surpassing the norm of 528, and scored well focusing on information and attention.

This is not the first time Kmart has gotten a very early start on holidays and has earned a reputation for touting its layaway product months before the holidays. Last year, Kmart launched its non-holiday ad “Merry Birthday” on Labor Day and in 2013 they debuted “Free Layaway” on September 9.

So, what to expect from the 2015 holiday season? If it’s anything like last year, philanthropy and heartfelt stories of family and togetherness are likely themes. Last year humor was also prominent – one-third of the top 15 holiday ads in 2014 incorporated humor as an attempt to breakthrough the seasonal noise. And we expect retail to be the largest category once again but we look forward to seeing some holiday cheer from others in the technology, dining and CPG categories.

Taking a look back to 2014, Nintendo’s “Dad Losses” earned the top ad of the season, with a breakthrough message that caught viewers’ attention. Breaking from the norm of sports and shooter-style interactivity, the ad took a fresh approach with a family-friendly theme that viewers loved. 2014 was also light on featuring Santa – he appeared in only 24 of the nearly 400 spots, vs. 33 ads in 2013. It’s still too early to predict how much of the big man we will be seeing in ads this holiday season.

With about three months to go before the holidays, it will be interesting to see if the 2015 holiday season will bring more of the same, or mix it up.

If you are planning a holiday campaign of your own, contact us about subscribing to our holiday ad set dating back to 2010. Learn what ads performed best and which found coal at the bottom of their stocking plus see new holiday themed ads as they break, across categories. Use historical and competitive insights to inform your creative briefs, test iteratively and make sure your holiday ads get results.


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