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Marketing Tips - Issue 17

A Little Holiday Post-Mortem

TV Ads May Resonate, But Coupons Get People in Stores Dec 18, 2008 6:02 AM, PROMO Xtra By Patricia Odell


Retailers seem to be connecting with shoppers this holiday season-maybe not through their wallets, but through their ads and promos. Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Macy's and Kohl's were cited by consumers as having the best holiday TV spots, according to a survey conducted for the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association by BIGresearch.


Others that made the top ten list include: Sears, Kmart, JCPenney, Old Navy, and Toys "R" Us. Some 17.5% of the overall respondents reported being motivated to shop with a retailer once they saw the company's ad, while 39% said they already shopped there.


Respondents ages 65-plus liked the Target and the Walmart ads the best, 30.7% and 24%, respectively However, only 8.7% of that group said the ads motivated them to shop at those stores, 51.3% said the commercials had no impact and 40% said they already shopped at the stores.


The group most motivated to shop after viewing the TV spots was the 18- to 24-age group (51%).. People with incomes higher than $50,000 identified Target has having the best ads, while people with incomes below that chose the Walmart ads. About 17% of those with higher incomes were swayed by the ads to shop at the stores and 18.5% of the lower income respondents. Women (19.2%) were more likely to be persuaded by holiday ads than men (15.7%). TV spot may resonate with consumers, but coupons get them to shop.


Across all age groups, coupons emerged by far as the top motivator to shop at a particular store this holiday season. Some 44.6% of the overall respondents cited coupons as a factor in determining where to shop, up from 35.2% last year. Word-of-mouth followed at 32.3%, then ad inserts (30.1%). Low on the list was instant and text messaging, cell phone videos and blogging. Young people, ages 18 to 24 reported liking coupons the best (51%) with people ages 65-plus being the lest motivated by the discount offers.


After coupons, the 18 to 24 group reported that word-of-mouth was the second most influential means to shop at a particular store, followed by in-store promos. Consumers said they were also swayed by newspaper ads (24.5%), direct mail (18.5%) and e-mail advertisements (15.8%). The study found that consumers connected to the ads in an emotional way and through the ads' focus on price. "The advertisements that ultimately won out reached beyond television sets with messages that found their way into shoppers' hearts and minds," said RAMA Executive Director Mike Gatti.


The survey polled 8,860 consumers from Dec. 2 to 9.


Marketing Tips posts authored by Leslie Goldstein of the USPS.