Millions of Americans remember the Sears Wish Book catalog with excitement -- and the hours they spent poring over each page, circling the gifts they wanted both to give and to receive during the holidays. Now, this year's return of the historic catalog has inspired Sears' new holiday marketing campaign, which launched November 4.
Led by the tagline "Don't just give a gift, grant a wish," the integrated marketing campaign features an expanded, more diversified, multicultural media mix, including national television and radio spots, magazine insertions for jewelry and tools, and increased online media, plus new sears.com functionality, Wishing Hours sales promotions and sweepstakes, direct mail, circular, public relations and, of course, catalogs.
"Our holiday campaign is dramatically different this year and fully integrated around the emotional theme of granting wishes. As a retailer, Sears is in a unique position because it can actually help people grant wishes for everyone on their lists -- at a price they can afford," said Richard Gerstein, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Sears. "Whether granting big wishes for a new kitchen, a garage workshop, diamonds, an updated wardrobe or a football-watching haven, or much smaller wishes, Sears can help gift-givers get the reactions they seek -- screams of excitement, tears, stunned surprise or a permanent grin."
The reactions that gift-givers get when granting wishes is one of the common themes of the Sears campaign, and the focal point of the four 30-second brand television spots. Launched on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on November 4, the spots feature actual customer wishes being granted and the incredible reactions that follow. Many of the customers and their families star in the ads. During the week of November 4, the ads also appear on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, NBC's The Biggest Loser, NBC's Phenomenon, NBC's Deal or No Deal and CBS's Kid Nation. Promotional 30-second and 15-second spots also feature gift-giving reactions.
Beginning earlier than the rest of the campaign on October 30, the online campaign includes use of online messaging and video, gift guide sponsorships and numerous online and mobile homepage takeovers.
"Sears will have a much larger online presence this holiday," said Gerstein. "The online space continues to offer new and exciting ways to interact in a meaningful way with our customers, such as the holiday experience we have created with Yahoo.com."
The "Where Wishes Begin" Holiday Experience powered by Yahoo (http://sears.yahoo.com/) launches the week of November 5. The social space allows visitors to start thinking about what they are wishing for this holiday season and what wishes they can grant for others. Site elements include:
-- Voting on the hottest gift ideas using Yahoo's Bix functionality -- Yahoo's Answers feature to resolve gift-giving dilemmas, and -- Video and photos of gift-giving reactions through Yahoo's popular Flickr photo sharing community. "Wishing Hours"
The Wishing Hours promotion, which begins November 19, features incredible deals with limited-time-only availability. Wishing Hours will occur every Monday and Tuesday from 4 p.m. to close (4 p.m. to midnight online) through December 18, and additional Wishing Hours will be announced throughout the season. Customers can download a Wishing Hours widget to their desktops or request to be notified via email or text message by visiting http://www.sears.com/wishes. Visitors to http://www.sears.com/wishes also can enter the Wishing Hours Sweepstakes (no purchase required), where thousands of prizes will be awarded and one grand prize winner will have a chance to select from one of five ultimate wishes. The winner will be announced during ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on Sunday, December 23.
Sears.com and your neighborhood Sears store
"One thing that shoppers always wish for is less stressful holiday shopping," said Gerstein. "And that is a wish Sears can grant to our customers. An example we are highlighting in the marketing campaign is our innovative buy online, pick-up at-store program, which allows you to shop for gifts online and pick them up without getting out of your car. It's so handy for moms with small children, people with disabilities, bad weather, or when you just don't feel like fighting the crowds."
The "Ready in 5" buy online and pick-up at-store program, which was announced last holiday season, will be expanding after Thanksgiving this year to offer curbside service -- qualified products are delivered right to the customer's vehicle within five minutes of arriving at the store.
Other Sears.com upgraded holiday features include thousands of new products available to grant the wishes of everyone on your list; a new gift-finder element featuring recommendations by personality, product category, or price range; improved "Wish List" functionality; and a "Letters to Santa" gift list for children.
About Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Sears, Roebuck and Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. Sears, Roebuck offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,400 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the United States and Canada, which includes approximately 926 full-line and 1,100 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears, Roebuck also offers a variety of merchandise and services through sears.com, landsend.com, and specialty catalogs. Sears, Roebuck offers consumers leading proprietary brands including Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 13 million service calls made annually. For more information, visit the Sears, Roebuck website at http://www.sears.com/ or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at http://www.searsholdings.com/.
Sweepstakes Rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. MAKING A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States/DC, 18 years of age or older. Sweepstakes begins 12:00:01 a.m. CST on 10/31/07 and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. CST on 12/11/07. To enter, visit http://www.sears.com/wishes. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Subject to complete Official Rules, including prize description and values, posted in participating Sears stores and at http://www.sears.com/wishes. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Sears, Roebuck and Co., 3333 Beverly Road, Hoffman Estates, IL 60179.
First Call Analyst:
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
CONTACT: Kirsten Whipple of Sears Holdings, +1-847-286-3037; or Taline
Kundakji of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, +1-212-367-6922, for Sears, Roebuck and
Web site: http://www.sears.com/